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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sinking down
This is a fiercely unsentimental film about `ordinary` people who occasionally behave in surprisingly extraordinary ways, to survive, to help others to cope, or merely to pay the rent.
A Belgian man named Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts, brilliant) and his small son Sam are on the road, escaping from - we`re never sure exactly what. They hole up with his sister and her...
Published 20 months ago by GlynLuke

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The cracks under the surface
This peculiar film centres on two characters who are damaged, both mentally and physically - Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), an orca trainer who has lost her lower legs after a horrific accident where an orca misread her signals and attacked her, and Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), an aspiring boxer who has taken on the care of his young son, Sam, after the end of his...
Published 16 months ago by Laura T


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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sinking down, 5 Nov 2012
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rust and Bone [DVD] (DVD)
This is a fiercely unsentimental film about `ordinary` people who occasionally behave in surprisingly extraordinary ways, to survive, to help others to cope, or merely to pay the rent.
A Belgian man named Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts, brilliant) and his small son Sam are on the road, escaping from - we`re never sure exactly what. They hole up with his sister and her husband in their poky apartment in Antibes, and he finds himself a dubious job, while earning some extra money bare-knuckle fighting. This is one tough homme, who rarely smiles, and is not always successful at being a capable father, though he tries to do his best. He is, however, highly successful with women...
Stephanie (Marion Cotillard, stunningly good) works at the local outdoor sealife centre, as a kind of ringmaster to a troupe of ostensibly tame killer whales, until there is a ghastly accident, from which she emerges horribly maimed.
Needless to say, the two people`s lives intersect, though not always in ways one might expect.
This is a beautifully directed, well-scripted film about how the least likely people can befriend each other and, ultimately, become more than simply fairweather friends. Cotillard - so remarkable as Piaf in La Vie En Rose a few years ago - is an actress who is what one might call endlessly watchable, with no excesses and no unnecessary posturing, giving a performance of deep integrity and truthfulness. She doesn`t overdo anything, and she has a soulful pair of eyes which appear always to be seeing that little bit further. Unlike another reviewer here, I found the CGI effects seamless, no distraction at all - in fact, I was wondering most of the time how on earth they managed to make it all look so real.
Schoenaerts is an actor new to me, but he gives something wonderful to this film, a shy brutality that in its turn bespeaks a brutalised past, but also a wish to be a better man, despite the lousy decisions he can`t seem to stop making. Armand Verdure, as his inquisitive, demanding son, is guilelessly effective too in his first film.
If it doesn`t perhaps deserve a full five stars, please don`t let that put you off seeing this rare and touching film.
Recommended.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and fulfilling, 5 Nov 2012
This review is from: Rust and Bone [DVD] (DVD)
Audiard has done it again! After 'A Prophet' he has once again delivered a gut-wrenching movie which oscillates between realism and stylism. The acting is impeccable: Cotillard has such an expressive face and is a real master at conveying emotions with the slightest touch; and Mattias Schoenaerts is an impressive and imposing revelation. I thought the relationship between their two characters evolved organically and realistically. Some reviewers have complained that some events in the film were not explained and/or didn't make sense. Well, for one I appreciated this. Often in life people act in ways that do not seem logical to the outssde world but surely must have some internal rational for them. I liked that I had to project myself into the characters to try to understand their actions. Anyway, I would warmly recommend the film to anyone. Even if not everyone will end up loving it as much as I did, it will make for an interesting, challenging and original journey.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Double Redemption, 16 April 2013
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rust and Bone [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Marion Cotillard delivers a remarkable portrayal of Stephanie, who,
following an unimaginably awful accident in her job as a killer whale
trainer, seems to have little left that she might wish to live for until
a drifter, Ali (another riveting turn here from Matthias Schoenaerts) with
his small son in tow, helps to restore some sense of self-belief and hope
into her shattered existence. In truth the slow and tenuous evolution of
their relationship turns out to be an emotional salvation for them both.

Corinne Masiero as Ali's long-suffering sister Anna and little Armand Verdure
as his son Sam also deserve praise for the naturalness of their performances.
(Ali and Sam's scene on the frozen lake is almost unbearable to watch!)

Director Jacques Audiard doesn't just tell the tale well. He makes us feel it.

Highly Recommended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jacques Audiard's follow-up to the sublime 'A Prophet' is a thoughtful and often bold film, but certainly not a perfect one., 3 Nov 2012
This review is from: Rust and Bone [DVD] (DVD)
Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) and his 5 year old son Sam (Armand Verdure) travel from Belgium to the south of France to stay with his sister Anna (Corinne Masiero). With little or no money, Ali plans to start a new life with his son.

Ali finds work as a nightclub bouncer, where he comes to the aid of Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) who is involved in a fight, and therein begins a relationship of sorts between 2 very different people. Stephanie trains and performs with orcas at a local sea park, but after a horrific accident seeks comfort in Ali. She barely knows him, but she sees something in his `operational' approach to life.

Theirs is not a relationship as such, both are lost souls who share a mutual unemotional sense of gratification. When we first meet Ali with Sam, he seems the perfect father. But once they move in with his sister and her husband, he immediately disengages, leaving Anna to pick up after him. Ali tends to Stephanie with more affection and tenderness than his own young son, which is often difficult to watch. Ali starts to box again, and gets involved in bare knuckle fighting for the sheer thrill of it. Stephanie accompanies him, fascinated by another side of life not experienced by many and least of all women. Ali's lack of self-consciousness drives Stephanie to overcome her own obstacles, exemplified by a touching scene where Ali encourages Stephanie to swim again.

`Rust and Bone' is not an easy film to watch, not least for the gruelling subject matter. You are always questioning Ali and Stephanie's relationship, whether its sexual or plutonic. Neither are suited to each other, you couldn't imagine an odder couple, but somehow the director manages to kid you and convince you of their suitability. There is a lack of sympathy from both Ali and Stephanie that connects them to each other. Marion Cotillard yet again shines in a restrained and emotionally complex role, and the pulverising Matthias Schoenaerts is excellent as the uninhibited Ali.

Director Jacques Audiard's follow-up to the sublime `A Prophet' is a thoughtful and often bold film, but certainly not a perfect one. `Rust and Bone' tries so hard to be unsympathetic and unsentimental that it is hard to connect to the characters, you neither love them or hate them. You accept that Ali and Stephanie are what they are and that tensions will undoubtedly follow, but the manipulative climax negated Audiards brazen intentions that worked so well for most of the film.

Rating: 7/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hank Williams You Wrote My Life, 19 July 2014
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rust and Bone [DVD] (DVD)
It may be grim oop north, but absent the heat it seems to be that way down south too. A boxer (Matthias Schoenaerts playing the unlikely named Ali) turns up at his sisters in Antibes with his young son and tries to get started again, in the story that follows there is more bad luck than one could shake a stick at as he meets Marion Cotillard's character, gets involved in bare knuckle fighting, and the secret world of industrial spying. The ending may be a little sentimental for a British audience but the story pulls no punches until then.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best French film of 2012, 3 Jan 2013
By 
Rob Simpson "noframeof" (Middlesbrough, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rust and Bone [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I had a problem with Jacques Audiard's last film, A Prophet; in fact I named it one of my most disappointing cinema experiences of 2010. It was an excellent short film with two hours of baggage. His latest film, Rust and Bone, made up for that decidedly immense disappointment. His ideal as a stylized realist bore a true relationship drama between the two leads, although it does turn its head into melodramatic territory in the final act. The way in which Audiard develops the friendship and organic way, just about anything could be done with them and the pay-off would match in suit. Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard are brilliant as the two leads, with the prior giving the sort of breakout performance that'll make him one of the next big actors in Europe. Rust and Bone has both the most stunningly realized `crash' scene of the year, all shot from underwater and the most subtlety implemented use of CG with the pivotal whales being real and the accident which costs Cotillard dearly. Above all else it's one of the most effecting dramas of the year, all the more significant thanks to Rust and Bone avoiding the common tactic of exploiting the viewer, the director is far more interested in character building and the drama therein.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'GRAB LIFE WITH BOTH HANDS', 8 Mar 2013
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rust and Bone [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
'Ali' ( who has allways dreamed of becoming a proffesional boxer ) suddenly
finds himself with his 5 year-old son 'Sam' it would be fair to say 'ali' has little
in the way of parental skills and decides to move down to live with his sister for
much needed help with 'Sam'
'Ali' gets a job as a bouncer at a club where after sorting an incident he meets
a worse for wear 'stephanie' 'ali' offers to get her home in her car, 'Ali'
had substained an injury to his fist during the incident and asks for ice-cubes
to ease the swelling.
Never expecting her to call he gives 'Steph' his mobile number before he heads
home.
'Steph' works at an aquatic centre where she trains 'Whales'
during a show a freak accident puts 'Steph' in hospital, when she eventually
wakes up she finds she'd lost both legs from just above the knees down.
after leaving hospital she is at a very low ebb,full of despair,she phones 'Ali'
out of the blue.
'Ali' though suprised does respond to her call,over time a friendship builds
between them.
'Ali' is offered a chance to earn 500-1000 euro's taking part in fights, underground'
(we'd call it 'illegal' prize fighting, no holds barred ) he suddenly has money to spend.
meanwhile the relashionship between 'Steph' and 'Ali' becomes physical.
'Ali' likes to play the field in truth.
'Steph' realizes she's beginning to have feelings she never thought possible because
of her loss.
'Ali' is about to learn how much his son really means to him, perhaps he'll also
realize his feelings for 'Steph'
It's a gritty and often touching movie expierience, well worth a spin.
( sub-titles )
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well known for a reason, 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Rust and Bone [DVD] (DVD)
I'd be really put off speaking to anyone who didn't like this film. It has everything you'd want from a film. If you know anyone who said they didn't like this film, stop speaking to them.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The cracks under the surface, 21 Mar 2013
By 
Laura T (Cambridge, U.K) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Rust and Bone [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This peculiar film centres on two characters who are damaged, both mentally and physically - Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), an orca trainer who has lost her lower legs after a horrific accident where an orca misread her signals and attacked her, and Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), an aspiring boxer who has taken on the care of his young son, Sam, after the end of his relationship with Sam's mother. After watching this film, I found out that it was based on two short stories from the Canadian writer Craig Davidson, and that the sex of one of the protagonists had been reversed by director Jacques Audiard, as he felt his previous films had been too male-dominated; this was somewhat of a lightbulb moment for me, as it seemed to explain much about both the strengths and weaknesses of this puzzling narrative. The opening scenes are strong, introducing the unsympathetic Ali, whom, it is swiftly established, seems to have a penchant for shirking his responsibilities, and setting Stephanie up as an engaging but flawed character, who also behaves irresponsibly when out drinking but is clearly in full command of herself as she directs orcas before the catastrophe. Inevitably, Stephanie and Ali become more closely involved after her accident, and observe each other - support may be too strong a word - as she struggles to adjust to her new life and her new legs, and he engages in illegal fights to make money and keep his hand in as a boxer.

The major problems with this film for me were structural, as there are some incredible set-pieces - two symbolically similar scenes, where Stephanie communes with the orca through glass and Ali undergoes a similar epiphany (avoiding spoilers) involving a frozen lake near the end of the film, are memorable and beautiful. Both Cotillard and Schoenaerts also give remarkable performances, with Cotillard as the stand-out for me; I remembered seeing her in 'Little White Lies', and although that film was mediocre at best, she still inhabited her role mesmerisingly. However, the final third of the film was surprisingly weak, as Ali's and Stephanie's stories seemed to digress away from each other, with frustratingly little focus on Stephanie, who was by far the most likeable of the pair. The film's opening seemed to set Stephanie up as a interesting female protagonist, but I felt that as the plot progressed, she became more of a foil for Ali, making their relationship a much more hackneyed and familiar trope than it initially promised. This also had unfortunate structural consequences for the film, I felt, making me wonder why she had lost her legs at all, and what the symbolism of the orca accident was meant to be, other than her attempts to train two beasts (Ali and the orca), which didn't seem particularly satisfying. This is where I felt the joins between the two separate stories that Audiard has taken as source material really showed, and I found myself thinking that the narratives might have worked better as two separate films. The final scene of the film, while powerful, felt ultimately meaningless, and I wasn't sure what Ali had learned from his journey and why Stephanie seemed to have solved her problems so easily.

I enjoyed watching this film, but in the end, I felt frustrated by its confusions and digressions, and its occasional glorification of hyper-masculinity, even as it criticised it. I would be interested to watch more by Audiard to see how far these criticisms are confined to this piece and its multiplicity of source material, or if these are more obvious trends throughout his work.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lacking in depth, likeable characters and story., 28 Oct 2013
This review is from: Rust and Bone [DVD] (DVD)
I was looking forward to watching this film after seeing so many great reviews. Unfortunately it seems I am one of the few who didn't enjoy this movie. The main problem was the fact that the characters were so unlikeable which made it hard to empathise or feel any emotion for their situation. The story lacked depth and seemed to be thrown together, it was over long and just didn't flow.

Compared to Intouchables which I watched a couple of weeks earlier, Rust and Bone lacks humour, sadness, hope, joy, great acting and real characters. In fact everything that made Intouchables such a great movie.
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Rust and Bone [Blu-ray]
Rust and Bone [Blu-ray] by Jacques Audiard (Blu-ray - 2013)
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