Monday, 15 October 2012

LFF: Rust & Bone

Jacques Audiard's anticipated follow up to A Prophet is a powerful drama about two unexpected lovers who undergo a shift in their lives whilst living on the beautiful sun-drenched Cote d'Azur. Marion Cotillard plays Stephanie, a whale trainer who loses her lower legs in a freak accident, whilst Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead) portrays Ali, an angry young Belgian who becomes the subject of her affections. Atypical of Audiard's films, the character's sit ambiguously in the 'grey', and it's not until later on that we decide if we empathise with them, let alone like them. There are a couple of implausible moments, which could fall down to the stupidity of the characters, but it seemed more like an easy path for the script to take a new direction. At times the misogyny is so unbearably realised, that you wonder what Stephanie actually sees in Ali besides his brooding manliness. However, Audiard still gives a well-shot and intriguing human drama, gritty and romantic,  but it isn't as good as his two previous films - The Beat That My Heart Skipped and A ProphetRust & Bone is a good addition to his CV; an accomplishment made all the more evocative by brilliant lead performances.    * * * 1/2   (3.5)

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