Saturday, April 11, 2015

Indie Review: Rust and Bone (2012)

              A Beautiful Love Story That Still Cuts Deep Into The 'Bone'

               Sooo....we're starting to see a trend of horror films being void of cliches and now we have love stories being void of cliches thanks to films like this one? Not only that, but a love story can be given multi-dimensional characters, spectacular visual storytelling aided by beautiful cinematography? Who knew.

         Rust and Bone follows the story of a man named Ali (Matthias Schonaerts) who tries to make ends meet by taking odd jobs while struggling to become a professional fighter. But one night, while working as a club bouncer, he stumbles across a whale trainer named Stephanie (Marion Cotillard). After a dreadful accident that causes Stephanie's legs to be amputated, she and Ali start to form a bond that will slowly start to shape their lives.

       I'll start off with the amazing performances by the two lead actors. Marion Cotillard gives such an enriching and complex performance as Stephanie, a woman who seems rather cold and calculating yet behind that lies such humanistic vulnerabilty. She is fiercely independent yet needy, dominant yet submissive, and will grief occasionally but not sit around feeling sorry for herself. Matthias Schonaerts is a revelation as Ali, a struggling father who is rather careless yet has animalistic tendencies and instincts. Schonaerts manages to bring such amazing layers to his character as he showcases a rather sensual yet boyish charm packed with a rough and bullish exterior. We might be looking at a Belgian Marlon Brando. Both Cotillard and Schonaerts have such rich chemistry and make us want two people seem mismatched end up holding hands by the time the credits roll.

    I also want to give points to director/co-writer Jacques Audiard who helped the two actors create such rich chemistry and, through the use of his long takes and screenwriting, demonstrated a great amount of visual storytelling. For example, in the scene where Stephanie wakes up in the hospital after her legs are amputated, she figures it out herself and there isn't a traditional doctor or nurse coming in to tell her the bad news. Audiard does a lot more showing rather than telling and I absolutely loved that. Audiard gives us a different kind of love story as the words "I love you" are rarely heard and he avoids the use of cliches and feel-good sentimentality.

   Finally, I thought the cinematography was stunning. What made cinematographer Stephane Fontaine's filming scheme so special is that he shoots it very realistically while incorporating a beautiful yet rather subtle color scheme, like in the aforementioned hospital scene where Stephanie is surrounded by the room's blue walls to capture the melancholic feeling.


    Overall, Rust and Bone is a sensual yet ferocious meditation of love that features multi-dimensional performances by its two lead actors, beautiful cinematography, complex direction, and realistically raw storytelling.

     Would I Recommend It?:
     Absolutely. Whether you are a fan of reading subtitles or not, I would highly recommend you check this one out. This kind of love story doesn't come around very often, so I would say take advantage of it.

Grade: A+