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Rust and Bone

De rouille et d’os

Directed by Jacques Audiard

France, 2011

Cornerhouse, 4 November 2012

Rust and Bone

‘The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places…’

Hemingway’s words pretty much sum up what the film is all about.  It’s a love story which is cool about disability, not only cool: relaxed, at ease, playful even.  For the rest, there’s an urban noir feel to it, most of the people being poor, marginalised, living on the edge in some way.  Our main guy, Ali, works as a bouncer and security guard and does some bare-knuckle fighting (or is it mixed martial arts?) on the side for ready cash.  He dreams of making it big as a legitimate boxer.  His affair with Stephanie gradually changes him, makes his spirit stronger.

What the film taps into is the omnipresent sense of precariousness, the feeling that accidents are always liable to happen, you can’t take your eye off the ball for a second.  No one, nothing is secure.  Yet it also tells us that misfortunes can always be met.  Again, Hemingway got it down: you may be destroyed but not defeated.

Anyway, it is a brilliant film and the two leads, Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard, deliver great performances.