“Rust and Bone” a Very Unusual Love Story
For something considerably more uplifting, consider the unusual, touching love story “Rust and Bone” from prolific French writer-director Jacques Audiard.
Matthias Schoenaerts stars as Alain “Ali” van Versch, who leaves
Belgium and a
dysfunctional wife with his 5-year-old son Sam (Armand Verdue) in tow to try and make
a go of it in , where his sister Anna
(Corinne Masiero) lives a precarious existence as a part-time grocery cashier. Antibes, France
Ali is a tough guy who aspired to be a professional kick-boxer. Because of his boxing expertise he gets a job as a bouncer at a local nightclub. Late one night he rescues a drunken young woman from a brawl. He chivalrously drives her home in her car and does not take advantage of her.
Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) is a star trainer at a Marineland attraction where she coaxes killer whales to do amazing tricks. In the middle of the act one of the whales leaps out of the water and lands on Stephanie, who is knocked out. When she awakens in a hospital bed she learns to her horror both legs have been amputated below the knee.
Sinking into depression, she gives Ali a call. Ali is not fazed by Stephanie’s injuries. In fact he invites her to go swimming and carries her to the water. So begins Stephanie’s healing.
Meanwhile through another job Ali meets a shady character named Martial (Bouli Lanners) who convinces him he can make quick cash fighting in brutal underground matches without referees or rules.
“Rust and Bone” is about painful injuries to the body, but it is also about the healing power of love; both of a father for his son and of an independent-minded man and woman who ultimately realize they need each other. You could call this a “tough love” story. Audiard has cast just the right actors for the job. Cotilliard is equally convincing as a tough chick and a proud, vulnerable woman.
Schoenaerts exudes machismo, but there is an achingly tender side to this tough guy, as we see with little Armand Verdure. This movie is a dandy one to share with your Valentine.