Drama deals with character's demons in 'Rust and Bone' - Omaha.com
go logo
article photo
article photo
Marion Cotillard, right, and Matthias Schoenaerts star in "Rust and Bone."


MOVIE REVIEW

Drama deals with character's demons in 'Rust and Bone'
By Bob Fischbach
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER


“Rust and Bone” adds to the list of award-season films centered on people with disabilities and the people who love or help them. The list includes “The Sessions,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Amour.”

Three things make “Rust and Bone” work: the powerhouse acting abilities of Matthias Schoenaerts, star of last year's Oscar-nominated “Bullhead,” and Marion Cotillard, an Oscar winner for “La Vie en Rose”; and French director Jacques Audiard (“Un Prophete,” a 2009 foreign-language Oscar nominee), who also co-wrote the script.

Related Links

Ruse and Bone

Quality: ★★★ (out of four)

Stars: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure

Director: Jacques Audiard

Rating: R for strong sexual content, brief graphic nudity, violence, profanity

Running time: 2 hours

Theater: Oak View

Schoenaerts is Ali, a burly Belgian brute from the school of hard knocks. Suddenly given custody of his 5-year-old son, he moves to Antibes in the south of France where he lives with his sister, a supermarket cashier scraping by.

He cobbles together a life as a bar bouncer, an illegal surveillance-system installer and a street fighter working for a bookie. He dreams of becoming a mixed martial arts star. He irresponsibly blows off picking his kid up at school and dumps him on his sister a lot. His selfishness comes to hurt everyone around him.

At the bar he attempts a casual hookup with Stéphanie (Cotillard), a trainer of killer whales at a Sea World-type show. Stéphanie has veiled problems in her domestic life, and Ali barely keeps his testosterone in check when he sees this.

The opening focuses on Ali's messy life. Then Stéphanie is the victim of an accident at work that causes both her legs to be amputated at the knee, and the focus shifts.

She slips into severe depression, her sense of self shattered. She barely has the will to live, let alone work on rehabilitation. She refuses to leave her new apartment, which is outfitted for a person in a wheelchair.

Unpredictably, she calls Ali. They begin seeing each other. He coaxes her out of the darkness of her apartment and into the light of a nearby beach. He uses her for sex when it suits him.

If you're like me, the movie will feel like a downer at this point. You won't like Ali for being such a selfish, heartless brute. And you won't like Stéphanie for allowing herself to be used by him when she clearly cares.

She lacks legs and self-esteem. He's an animal with no heart.

But stick around. Director Audiard might sometimes telegraph what's coming next with his use of the camera, but these characters are not as one-dimensional and predictable as they sound.

And the actors playing them are more than capable of layered performances that surprise. The very brokenness of these characters is what makes them relatable. A scene of Stéphanie at the bar watching Ali, and a scene of Ali on a frozen lake (you'll know these moments when they arrive) are unforgettable. So is a scene when Stéphanie returns to the aquarium and her whales.

“Rust and Bone” presents two contrasting characters at war with themselves, then has us watch as their differences spark and rub off on each other. It's sexually raw, at times brutal and animalistic, and at other times almost unbearably tender. It could be overly maudlin or overly sentimental. It's not.

It feels real. It gets under your skin and rattles your cage a bit. It sticks with you afterward. In my mind, that means a movie has done something very right.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1269, bob.fischbach@owh.com

Contact the writer: Bob Fischbach

bob.fischbach@owh.com    |   402-444-1269

Bob reviews movies and local theater productions and writes stories about those topics, as well.

Read more stories by Bob


Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom


Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

Maha Music Festival announces lineup; might be its best yet
Maha Music Festival announces lineup; might be its best yet

August concert promises to pack Stinson Park with indie rock fans.


A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour
A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour

The downtown staple recently introduced a happy hour. And its menu's pretty amazing.


Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita
Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita

Chef Jose Dionicio has wisely refocused Taita on sushi, and the well-crafted small bites of fresh fish I tasted from his one-man sushi bar are delectable.


New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week
New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week

Fusion BBQ, at 7024 Maple St., focuses on American style barbecue cooking melded with international cuisines.


Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing
Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing

The Nebraska Beef Council announced the winner of its Nebraska's Best Burger contest.


Rockbrook Village restaurant Taste has a new chef
Rockbrook Village restaurant Taste has a new chef

Ryan Devitt will come to the restaurant as both a chef and partner to focus on farm-to-table style cuisine.


Over Easy will host a west Omaha block party
Over Easy will host a west Omaha block party

Over Easy is playing host to a west Omaha block party this summer.


Movie review: 'Transcendence' ends up quite ordinary
Movie review: 'Transcendence' ends up quite ordinary

“Transcendence,” a sci-fi thriller about an attempt to meld the human mind with technology, falls far short of transcendence. So far short I had to fight off sleep.


Dining notes: Dario’s has a new spring menu

Dario’s Brasserie in Dundee has a new spring menu, a new brunch menu and late night vittles.


Movie review: 'Bears' is cute — and so much more
Movie review: 'Bears' is cute — and so much more

"Bears" is exactly the sort of nature documentary we’ve come to expect from Disneynature, which rolls out a new nature documentary every year at Earth Day.


 
Search
Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings






Read this!








VIDEOS

Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved