‘Rust and Bone’ is a deeply emotional yet beautiful drama, in which a woman loses her legs in an accident at work and slowly falls in love with a professional fighter who’s been put in charge of his five year old son.
Ali is left in charge of his five year old son, and tries to juggle being a father with his rather unorthodox work life. Although he is at times an incompetent father, Schoenaerts’ fantastic performance captures Ali’s deep love for his son, creating empathy where there might otherwise be resentment.
Cotillard’s performance is equally brilliant as she plays a woman struggling to come to terms with losing her legs. She’s working at a sea life centre training killer whales when tragedy strikes; a whale jumps out of the water and slides through the stadium, breaking it and sending Stephanie flying into the water where she loses both her legs. Her performance is both heart breaking and empowering, she fights her feelings of despair and depression to come out stronger.
The film has a slow, poetic pace that makes it moving and beautiful to watch. So much happens in one story, yet it just flows smoothly from one thing to the next, we’re not left feeling bombarded with story arcs rather it unfolds poetically before our eyes. The imagery and cinematography is beautiful, it doesn’t have the same rawness as many other drama’s like this have but the camera work gives it a sense of realism. The camera isn’t always completely smooth,which draws you in further, almost making it feel as though you’re there.
It has moments of jaw dropping beauty; the scene in which Stephanie revisits her work place, walking on her new prosthetic legs and the imagery of her standing in front of the tank, with the beautiful Killer Wale approaching her and obeying her commands is stunning. It has an uplifting yet deeply sad feel to it, reminding you constantly that although she’s found happiness and acceptance in her condition, it’s still changed her life forever. It has a very real feel to it, it doesn’t try to make you believe that people just carry on as normal and aren’t forever affected by life changing accidents as many Hollywood films do.
A fantastic film with some brilliant performances. It’s beautiful to watch and the story feels real. It is at times deeply sad, but overall it’s very uplifting, and it’s well worth a watch!