Rust And Bone takes two very different characters, Alain (Matthias Shoenaerts) a father who is facing, or least trying to face up to his responsibilities as a father, and Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) a strong minded whale Trainer at a French water park. Alain new in town, meets up with Stephanie on a night out, and he shocks her with his views, to the extent that he horrifies her. When Stephanie loses her legs in an incident at work, she finds herself compelled to make contact with Alain. Both these two characters have various needs, that it seems only the other can fill.
Rust And Bone (or De rouille et d'os as it is known in France) is a not unfamiliar movie, it creates a synergy of several well known, tried and tested movies and delivers what it believes is the required result. For this reviewer, I’m not sure it delivers what is intended. While Rust And Bone is certainly a very competent movie, it does not do anything, or go anywhere we have not seen. When I travel through London and see posters saying “Mesmerizing”, “Stunning”, “Enthralling”, I cannot help but wonder if we were watching the same movie.
Writer/director Jacques Audilard has his leads banging about into each other, with little regards for the things that make us human, like emotion. Everyone in the movie seems somehow distant, at times almost transparent in his or her visibility. There is little explanation as to why these two characters bond, especially given that on their only encounter has such disturbing aspects.
Marion Cotillard is incredibly good in the movie, and does the very best from the material given. A moment in the movie where her character awakes in a bed, to discover that she has lost her legs from the knees down, is magnificently done. As a survivor of such an incident, she is remarkably convincing, you really have a phenomenal talent in Cotillard.
Given what I have said above, Rust And Bone is a good movie, but if you head in expecting to get even a glimpse of the hype that has been touted about the movie, you will be sadly disappointed.