Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of Tribute To The Fallen where I discuss films that weren't nominated at the Oscars and go into why I think they should've gotten in. Today's film is the 2012 French love story Rust and Bone.
Now, this one came very close to getting in for Best Actress for Marion Cotillard, who got notices everywhere else (BFCA, Globes, SAG, BAFTA). But her name was missing from the final lineup. How could she have missed out, though? Her performance ticked a few important boxes as she is a previous Oscar winner playing a person with a disability. But it just so happened that there was another French actress playing a person with a disability in a film that was beloved more by the Academy, Emmanuelle Riva in Amour. So, I'm guessing they thought there was only room for one French actress. Plus, these days, playing a disabled person isn't always a sure bet. Just ask Jennifer Aniston and John Hawkes.
Another strike that was hit against Rust and Bone, in my opinion, was that there was another "hot messes find love" film in the mix: Silver Linings Playbook. Not only that, but that film was much more starry, had Harvey Weinstein behind it, and its filming style was much more sporadic with its acting and even its editing. But Rust and Bone has a more restrained filming style with the main actors giving subtle performances and the film not having any flashy, quick cuts or anything like that. Director Jacques Audiard just has the camera keep rolling.
Not only that, but the two main characters in Rust and Bone, Ali and Stephanie, aren't necessarily as redeemable as Silver Linings Playbook's Pat and Tiffany and the acting styles of both Cotillard and Matthias Schonaerts are much more reserved and less in your face. Usually, Academy voters like performances that are literally loud and sporadic which is part of the reason Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for her Tiffany. But despite the fact that Ali and Stephanie aren't as redeemable, they are still very complex and multi-faceted characters and it would've been interesting to see them recognize a rather unconventional couple or anti-couple if you will since even though it may be categorized as a love story, it isn't entirely about love.
Another difference between these two films is their respective endings. Ali and Stephanie do (*spoiler alert*) end up holding hands by the time the film ends, making it a somewhat happy ending, but the end of Silver Linings Playbook has Pat and Tiffany finally kissing while Pat and his family win the big parlay. Its ending is much more Hollywood.
Not only do I think Rust and Bone was deserving of a Best Actress nom, but possibly even Best Actor for Matthias Schonaerts which would make sense considering how the two actors play off one another. There is also Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Director, and maybe even Best Film Editing for its smooth pacing. They may have recognized Amour, another French film, across the board. But in my opinion, Rust and Bone is much better.
So those are my thoughts on why I think Rust and Bone deserved some Oscar love. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!