Rust and Bone (De Rouille et D’os) – Review (Spoiler Free)

Rust and Bone (De Rouille et D’os) features two superb lead performances given by both Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, who play two people that are drawn together by a catastrophe. The relationships between characters are well crafted, and whilst they each individually struggle through a serious amount of emotional turmoil, the film overall is handled well enough to not have distanced me with this onslaught. One of its most notable accomplishments is how it infuses numerous clichés with a surprisingly new lease of life; some mixture of the script, performances and direction has resulted in this fairly miraculous process, where these instantly recognisable moments still occur, and yet felt almost original to me. Rust and Bone also looks wonderful, with beautiful cinematography that’s most notable when it’s used in contrast against the film’s brutality. This clash results in a couple of real standout powerful moments, and gave them a wonderful electric tension. Unfortunately the plot does feel episodic at times; as a series of events occur, offshoot on their own separate path, and then end without strongly tying back into the story, and this does detract from the film, however overall it’s not a serious problem and doesn’t grate all that much.

Schoenaerts is pretty impressive in his role, not only due to the raw and layered performance that he brings, but also because he holds his own against Cotillard who delivers exceptionally here. Although I went in to the film pretty much expecting a great performance from her, she still managed to blow me away by raising the emotional stakes with a naturalistic and piercing performance. It’s easily the best I’ve seen all year. The two lead characters are far from perfect people, they have their flaws and if the film had slipped it could have made them deeply unlikeable, instead it straddles the fine line between overcompensating with a sentimentalised view of them, and the opposite where it would make them completely unrelatable and inhuman. Rust and Bone isn’t faultless; it may not completely tie together, plot strands and characters can be left to fade a little into the backdrop, but it does so very much right that I still rate it pretty highly. I found that it lingered with me for a considerable length of time after having watched it, it coloured the rest of my day, and that in itself is fairly rare.

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16 comments

  1. I’ve heard about this recently and I think I’ll check it out. Nice review.

    1. Thanks, that’s cool well I hope you like it. It’s not for everyone but trust me Cotillard is awesome. 😀

  2. Fantastic review. Glad you liked this one as much as I did. Completely agree with what you have to say, especially “how it infuses numerous clichés with a surprisingly new lease of life” and that it’s a film that stays with you. I also went in expecting a great performance from Cotillard and she still managed to surprise me. She was stunning.

    1. Cheers. Yeah I reckon that this could be her all time best performance, it’s certainly one of the top ones.

      1. It’s her second best in my opinion. The first being Édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose.

        1. Yeah I agree that it’s between those two. It would be awesome if she could win her second Oscar with Rust and Bone!

          1. That would be awesome. She’ll get nominated, for sure.

  3. Great review, I may check this out as I like Cotillard.

    1. I hope you get around to catching it some day, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts.
      As you’re someone who likes her then yeah you really should watch this at some point. In case I haven’t already stressed this enough – she is pretty fantastic here 😀

  4. I’m looking forward to this. Opens this Friday here.

    1. Cool, I hope that you enjoy it! I’ll keep an eye out as presumably you will write up a review?

      1. I will although there’s so much coming out this week it might take a week or two for me to see it.

  5. I agree the script felt episodic at times, it distracted me a lot while watching the movie but what was my big problem was how selfish and unlikable the character of Ali was. I did love Cotillard’s work too, she was wonderful here and definetly made the movie memorable.

    1. I didn’t have a problem with Ali’s negative qualities, but that’s because I felt the film didn’t ask us to side with him. And yeah Marion was fantastic! 😀

  6. watched at film fest …… although i was very much in awe of cotillard … it was the male lead Ali who was impressive. His characterization was superb.

    1. I see where you are coming from and I agree that Schoenaerts was excellent in the role, personally I stick by Cotillard as being the most impressive but a strong case can be made for him.

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