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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 5 November 2012
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.
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Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( 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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on 23 December 2014
I bought this film purely because I saw Marion Cotillard was present. Having seen her in 'La Vie en Rose' (biography of Edith Piaf) in which I thought she was outstanding.
At it's most basic, it's about the relationship about one of lifes' losers and a woman who has tragically lost her legs in a killer whale show. It's one of those films that gradually draws you in. It's gritty, real-life, and it has a couple of hard to watch excellent scenes that will leave you wondering why you are feeling those particular emotions. All the actors in it are outstanding.
I have watched it with 3 discerning friends and the comments were: "Excellent film." " I enjoyed that, but I don't know why!"
I am not really into 'happy endings for the sake of it" but enjoyed the ending in this.
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'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
'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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on 5 November 2012
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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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 - for Alain it transpires) 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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 November 2012
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 platonic. 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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on 3 January 2013
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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on 24 March 2015
Some films, and the stories they tell, stay with you forever and, for me, this is one of those rare films. Both lead characters convey what it is to be human in a truly moving and mesmerising way. The story is a love story, but don't expect Mills n' Boon - this film is true to it's title and shows the rust and bone of human emotion.

If you are put off by subtitles don't let this put you off as words are just a bonus in this film anyway as the acting is so powerful. Some things cannot be conveyed by words and both lead actors are exceptional at helping the audience to empathise with their incredibly challenging situations. The female lead 'Stephanie' has to come to terms with a life changing accident in which she loses her legs and the male lead 'Ali' has his own challenges with trying to be a good Dad to his 5 year old son. I could empathise with both characters and fell a little bit in love with both of them.

I love character led films and this really was up there with the best - I would give it 6 stars!
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on 8 January 2014
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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