- Superior craftsmanship on all levels 6/4/2012 12:00:00 AM by rubenm
Jacques Audiard is the maker of the sensational, Oscar-nominated movie Un Prophète. Matthias Schoenaerts is the lead actor in the sensational, Oscar-nominated movie Bullhead. Together, they now have made De rouille et d'os. Is it sensational? Well, um, yes. Will it be nominated for an Oscar? Time will tell!
Like those other two movies, De rouille et d'os is about strong characters, fighting their way through life against all odds. One of those characters is played by Schoenaerts, the Flemish actor who is on the verge of his breakthrough in international cinema. At least, that's what everyone in Cannes was talking about. Next year's American remake of the Flemish blockbuster Loft might well be his ticket to Hollywood.
In De rouille et d'os, Schoenaerts basically plays the same sort of character as he did in Bullhead: lots of muscles, little brainpower. In this movie, he succeeds in embarrassing, hurting or insulting everyone he cares about: his child, his sister and his girlfriend. He seems incapable of showing the least bit of empathy. His rude and insensitive way of treating other people would almost be funny, if it weren't for the sometimes dramatic consequences.
The story is about the relationship between this emotionally handicapped man and a physically handicapped woman. Although they have almost opposite characters, they find each other in their mutual experience of being different from the rest. His lack of sympathy and understanding is almost an advantage for her. She lost her legs, but he doesn't ask her how she copes or if she wants a shoulder to cry on. No, he asks her if she wants to take a dive in the ocean with him. 'Do you realize what you're saying?', she replies. He answers by carrying her in his arms to the sea and letting her discover that she can swim by using only her arms.
Audiard knows how to let his two lead actors excel. Schoenaerts is completely believable as a primitive macho who means well but screws everything up nevertheless. And Marion Cotillard is cast perfectly as a strong-willed woman who refuses to be confined to a wheelchair. I was amazed by her physical appearance as an amputee - you'd swear that she had her legs cut off in order to be able to make this movie. The visual effects are awesome.
But apart from the acting achievements, Audiard also has some nice visual treats. Most of the time, the movie focuses on the actors, but now and then aesthetics take over. The scene with Cotillard in an orca show is an example of superb directing: the huge animals are filmed in such a way, that it becomes clear something terrible is about to happen. De rouille et d'os shows superior craftsmanship on all levels.
- There Is Something About Marion 8/27/2017 12:00:00 AM by marcosaguado
What a remarkable performance! Marion Cotillard as an actress, as an artist goes as far here as very few actresses have gone before - Total and utter truth no matter how wrenching - Maria Falconetti in The Passion Of Joan Of Arc, Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice, Anna Magnani in Bellissima and very few others, now, for me, Marion Cotillard in Rust And Bone belongs right up there among the sublime. Here I should be commenting on the film and my comment is all about her because Rust And Bone is her, Marion Cotillard. Her co-star, totally new to me, Matthias Schoenaerts, is superb as the handsome, unwitting agent provocateur. Not to be missed.
- Great film in a special way 5/18/2012 12:00:00 AM by ghent1
This Audiard film is one that grows on you. For quite some time into the film it seems both the film and its main characters aimlessly sit in their cocoon without breaking out. One feels some very vague potential in people but somehow their very lives seem the greatest impediments to its blossoming. One wonders what the film is about and where it is going. Like its characters, it feels like a bunch of loose ends aimlessly hanging about. But I must say that at the end of the movie it has grown on you: suddenly, as the story progresses, the film hatches, the characters break out of their cocoon and in retrospect one feels one has been witness to the improbable -and yet realistic- birth of an unusual but deep love story between two common people. The story has a hidden intensity of screenplay which is intensely performed by Schoenaerts and Cotillard. It creeps beneath your skin. If you like Audiard's way of developing gradual character drama with an intensity that seems to be implicit, buried beneath trailer-trash but still strongly present, you'll like this film. It's a story of how one can find anew a purpose in life when one feels like wasted trash. I watched this film in a full theatre of some 300 people. At the end most everybody sat silent for some minutes. It seems the film had touched something inside quite some of us there. Film as it should be.
- Healing in the midst of the brokenness of it all 3/26/2013 12:00:00 AM by estebangonzalez10
¨What have you done with my legs? ¨
Forget about Amour, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, or A Royal Affair; the best foreign films of 2012 came from France. The first was The Intouchables, about a quadriplegic millionaire who hires the help of a young man from the projects, while Rust and Bone centers around another unlikely relationship between a killer whale trainer and a boxer. These two were my favorite foreign films by far, and I especially enjoyed this one because I am a huge fan of director Jacques Audiard who in 2009 directed the Oscar nominated A Prophet. That film was much more suspenseful as it centered on a prisoner who manages to survive inside a corrupted prison system. This time, Audiard focuses on a dramatic romantic story between two tortured souls who truly learn to live after they have suffered severe physical injuries. More than a character study, this film is a soul study as the two lead characters find healing under extremely rare circumstances. We are introduced to these characters in a very realistic manner. These people are afflicted in some way or another; they aren't your usual likable lead characters; they are deeply flawed, but we sympathize with them. Like he did in A Prophet, Audiard adapted the screenplay with the assistance of Thomas Bidegain based on the short stories from Canadian author Craig Davidson. Audiard's film was nominated for the Palm d'Or in last year's Cannes Film Festival and is really worth checking out. Some people had an issue with the ending because they thought everything fit together a little too neatly, but I thought the final act was probably the best and most satisfying part of this film. Our physical struggles and bonds can end up strengthening our tortured souls and making us better human beings.
A former boxer, Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts from Bullhead), decides to move from Belgium to the south of France where his sister, Louise (Celine Sallette), lives after he is put in charge of his young son, Sam (Armand Verdure). He isn't very responsible, so he knows his sister can help him raising his son while he finds a job. He finds one as a local bouncer at a disco where he meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), a professional killer whale trainer at Marineland, after escorting her back home due to a brawl. They exchange numbers but don't see each other again. Alain find a job as a security guard at a local store where he meets Martial (Bouli Lanners) who convinces him to begin fighting again. Martial runs an underground kickboxing tournament where he introduces Alain and they begin making some money off it. Meanwhile Stephanie continues her life at the marine land, until she suffers a freak accident and loses both her legs. Heavily depressed she calls Alain and the two begin to form a special bond. She begins to go out more and even joins Alain when he goes off to fight. The two begin to support each other, and despite their brokenness they begin to help each other out.
Audiard is a master at creating depth and pays close attention to these random characters that end up bonding with each other, but he couldn't have succeeded if it weren't for the two terrific lead performances from Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard. Cotillard was remarkable and should have received a nomination, and somehow Schoenaerts manages to make his character likable despite all his flaws. There is something in the way he treats Stephanie that seems to erase all his flaws and make us want him to achieve his personal goals. The actors managed to create a rather unique and authentic relationship and for me it worked really well. Every scene that at first felt unnecessary seems to have a purpose or a symbolism later on, like the way Alain looked at Stephanie's legs when he was escorting her home. Later he wins a fight he was about to lose when he catches a glimpse of Stephanie's prosthetic legs. Somehow in the midst of pain, he finds greater strength, and that is what makes this film so appealing. Everything which seemed so random at first seems to come together perfectly at the end. This is one of those films that stay with you long after the credits roll, and it is deeply touching and moving. This is one of those films that is driven by the performances and the overall narrative of the story. The visual effects of Cotillard 's legs (or lack thereof) are also pretty well done. Everything about this film makes it one you will definitely want to check out. It is real, it is raw, and it is touching.
- Again a remarkable film by a master film maker 5/22/2012 12:00:00 AM by bRAdY-01
I watched this film at the Canes Film Festival, audience expectation was high the huge Palais auditorium completely filled. Jacques Audiard is my favourite director, as with Tahir Rahim in A Prophet and Roman Duris in The Beat that my heart skipped, Audiard managed to get an astounding performance from his male lead Schoenaerts, performed as a brutal man lacking the capability to show warmth or love to his young son and the women that cross his path, his performance as a bouncer come fist fighter for money is always believable though completely unsympathetic. You wish him to succeed though you find it hard to like him so often does his character disappoint, seemingly incapable of love and sensitivity, his straight forward requests for sex come out as comic rather than charming, but his open down-to-earth approach and honesty, often gets him what he desires. Meeting Cotillard he is met and challenged by a very strong woman, damaged she needs to find herself again, he could possibly help, at least initially physically rather than emotionally. As their characters interact throughout the film I was unsure as too who would change who, fascinating highly watchable characters struggle to prevail against bad luck and to pull themselves out of the mire of despair and poverty, my kind of film. Again a remarkable film by a master film maker, completely at ease with breaking the conventions of traditional romance.