Film Review: Rust and Bone

Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone is compelling thanks to great performances from its leads and a narrative that engages the viewer.

Ali goes to live with his sister, taking his young son along with him. Working as a bouncer, Ali meets Stephanie at the night club after he breaks up a fight. Trying to cope with a life-changing event, Stephanie turns to Ali for friendship…

Rust and Bone succeeds in maintaining the audience’s interest by taking its time to establish the characters and the turn of events. Viewers should attempt to go into the film with as little knowledge of the plot as possible for maximum enjoyment. This way, what occurs is unexpected and even surprising.

From the outset, it is hard to predict the direction the film will take. Director Audiard takes his time in establishing scenarios. Even in the very beginning it is unclear why Ali and his son are making the journey. Rust and Bone‘s narrative unfolds at a natural pace, allowing the relationship between Ali and Stephanie to develop in an authentic manner.

What is great about the protagonists is that they both appear three dimensional. Ali’s consideration for Stephanie is contrasted with apparent carelessness for his son. Similarly, the viewer’s first impression of Stephanie belies her more complex and endearing character. Matthias Schoenaerts is entirely convincing as Ali. Marion Cotillard meanwhile offers a very impressive performance as Stephanie. It is a challenging role, but Cotillard’s strong performance is compelling.

There are some shots in Rust and Bone which feel like style for style’s sake. A few of these could have been omitted or trimmed. Shots in the water however do add something to the film. The score also works well.

Rust and Bone deserves the acclaim that it has received. Not a perfect film, but a very well executed one nonetheless.

Stuff To Look At

New trailers for Iron Man 3 and Playing for Keeps and a live stream from the Royal World Premiere of Skyfall are featured here for your viewing pleasure…


Above is a live stream from the Royal World Premiere of Skyfall, which begins at 5pm (GMT). All the stars of the film are expected to attend, along with a host of other celebrities. Skyfall is released on 26th October 2012.

Iron Man 3

After the enormous success of Avengers Assemble, next up on the Marvel roster is Iron Man 3. Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow return for the next instalment of the Iron Man series. The film, directed by Shane Black is due for release on 26th April 2013.

Playing for Keeps

Playing for Keeps boasts a stellar cast which includes Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid and Catherine Zeta-Jones.  The film looks like a standard romantic comedy, but it may hold some surprises. Playing for Keeps is due for release on 1st January 2013, an ideal release for light, non-committal post-Christmas viewing.

Life of Pi

Ang Lee directs Life of Pi, based on Yann Martel’s bestselling novel. Above is a short clip from the film. Due to be released in 3D, Life of Pi‘s visuals are immediately attractive. The film will be released on 20th December 2012.

Rust and Bone

I am disappointed to have missed Rust and Bone at the BFI London Film Festival this year. Rust and Bone won the Best Film Award this past weekend, and has been receiving good reviews. Above is a brief clip from the film. Rust and Bone will be released on 2nd November 2012.

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas is an ensemble piece featuring six different stories. The film stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant. Above is a featurette about the film featuring the cast and crew. Cloud Atlas is due for release on 22nd February 2013.