I went into Rust and Bone without knowing a thing about it, which worked
greatly to my benefit. This story about two broken people takes a rather sharp
turn early in the film, which results in a very disturbing outcome that feels
more intensified to the viewer, if not expecting it. For that reason I am
going to give a generalized overview of the story....
As the film opens, we meet Ali (Mattias Schoenaerts), a single, homeless
father who is traveling through the South of France, trying to make ends
meet for his young son, Sam. Ali is a street fighter and a man void of emotion.
As he settles down with a sister he hardly knows, he takes up a job as a
bouncer at a local disco club. It is there that he meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard)
whom he rescues from a fight. After driving the young woman home, he gives
her his phone number, inviting her to call if she ever needs anything. With their
encounter being so brief, Ali never expects he will hear from the woman again.
When Stephanie's life suddenly turns to tragedy, she calls upon Ali for
companionship. The two seem to immediately hit it off, primarily for the fact
that their relationship evolves without any emotional connection. However, as
the story moves forward, we watch how these two unlikely individuals become an
integral part of each other's lives.
This Golden Globe Nominee for best Foreign Language Film and Best actress
is certainly worthy of attention for the powerful performances by its leads. Even
equally worthy is the special effects work that, without giving anything away,
makes you totally believe the tragic outcome that is portrayed. Unfortunately,
it's hard to feel for any of these characters in a story that remains more gritty
As for the transfer itself, this is another stellar release from Sony Classics
sporting an exceptional high level of detail and warm coloration. There isn't a
single artifact to stand in the way of this superb presentation. There is nothing
really memorable about the 5.1 DTS MA audio track, but it does what it's supposed
to with no flaws. Being a dialogue-driven story, most of the audio is front heavy.
However, the rears effectively come into play at many points, fleshing out
surround effects or expanding upon many of the musical selections throughout
the film. I was surprised by the strong level of LFE during club sequences.
This French film is subtitled. Extras include a commentary track with director
Jacques Audiard and co-screenwriter Thomas Bidegain. There are also six
deleted scenes with commentary and two featurettes on the making of the film.
In all, Rust and Bone is a film that may work better for most as a rental rather
than a purchase. While I found the story to be quite powerful, it totally lacks in charm.
Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised. These are characters that are not easy to connect with,
which makes the relationship that both form together a bit unsettling. If you see it with
absolutely no knowledge of its story or any expectations, I think you'll be as reasonably
satisfied with the film as I was....perhaps more.
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Images are for illustrative purposes only and are not actual screenshots