By Hope Madden
Why do strangers Stephanie and Ali form such a fierce bond in Rust and Bone (De rouille et d’os) ? Stephanie (Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard) trains orcas and struggles with tragedy, while Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) lives in the present moment, accepting any offer, opportunity or bit of fun that presents itself without a thought of the consequences to himself or his young son.
Writer/director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) doesn’t provide all the answers in his challenging exploration of their relationship. His drama, in French with subtitles, is a gritty, punishing tale of sexual redemption between two broken people unconventionally well suited to each other. The chemistry between the leads keeps the film taut, and Audiard’s wandering storyline and loyalty to his characters forever surprises.
4 stars (out of 5)