‘Rust and Bone,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


The visual trickery will catch your attention – but it’s the performance behind it that will hold you and move you in Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone,” opening Wednesday (11/21/12) in limited release.

The director of the harrowing “Un Prophete” – with its gritty violence and interracial tensions in a French prison – tackles something quite different here: a romantic drama about lost souls groping toward each other.

The film stars Marion Cotillard, as Stephanie, who trains and performs with killer whales at Marineland near Cannes. The other half of this couple is Mathias Schoenaerts (“Bullhead”), as Alain, a single father trying to keep it together by working as a bouncer, a video-surveillance installer and a bare-knuckle brawler in backroom fights.

Alain arrives in Antibes with his young son, who he seems ill-equipped to care for. But he gradually begins to find his way with the boy, with the help of the sister he is living with.

He meets Stephanie one night at the club where he guards the door. She is drunk and rowdy, but he treats her gently, though she is reticent about his pitch to go out with him.

But her life changes drastically after an accident on the job.

This review continues on my website.

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