De rouille et d’os (2012)

Posted: March 12, 2013 in Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Director: Jacques Audiard

Actors: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts

de rouille et dos

Maybe better known under its English title ‘Rust and Bone’, French director Jacques Audiard based this story on the book bearing the same title by Canadian author Craig Davidson. It tells the story of Alain, who is in his mid-twenties and is the only parent to his 6 year old son Sam. Being unemployed, he leaves Belgium to go live with his sister in the South of France. Alain is an ex-boxer, he’s been in and out of trouble with the law and has trouble taking responsibility. He has no real relationships with the people around him, including his family. When landing in France, he gets a job as a bouncer at a local night club where he meets Stéphanie, who works at a local marine tourist park. Initially, their meeting is short and superficial and doesn’t lead anywhere, but when Stéphanie suffers a surreal accident at the water park where she works, she seeks to get in touch with him again.

This is one of those films that got stripped from all in-necessities. What is left is just a genuine, sometimes raw story about two every day people, superbly portrayed by both lead actors. It has that kind of pureness we lack so often in today’s film business. It doesn’t judge, there’s no good or bad, there’s just a story being told. As a viewer you are free to do whatever you want with that.

Audiard decided to go with Matthias Schoenaerts for the leading male role. Although initially, no professional actor was to play Alain. But after more than 200 unsuccessful auditions in numerous gyms and boxing clubs and after seeing Schoenaerts’ performance in “Bullhead’, he finally changed his mind, all for the best if you ask me.


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