Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rust and Bone (Rhoades)

“Rust and Bone”
Cuts to the Bone

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Often I watch films with people who relate to the subject matter up there on the screen. For instance, I watched Jacques Audiard’s grim film “A Prophet” with a Syrian family. Riveting and realistic, but unflinching in its tale of a young Arab man rising to power in a French prison.
We agreed Audiard was a powerful filmmaker to watch.
So why should I be surprised that Audiard’s latest -- “Rust and Bone,” now playing at the Tropic -- would be just as bleak?
One moviegoer, exhausted by the two-hour emotional marathon, described it as “a love story without romance.”
Yes, this is an awkward entanglement between a taciturn single father and a woman who trains killer whales at Marineland. But despite the lengthy sex scenes, it is a painful-to-watch story.
Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard portrays Stephanie, the woman who loves orcas too much.
Matthias Schoenaerts exudes a hulking macho as Ali, the Belgian club bouncer who begins a relationship with the strong-willed Stephanie.
The film pivots around a dreadful accident, told with a sense of foreboding, one that prevents Stephanie from training the killer whales … so she decides to train the primitive beast in her bed -- Ali.
“If we continue, we have to do it right — not like animals,” she tells him. But his callous disregard for her and her affliction makes this a difficult goal.
Set in the French Riviera, the cinematography is amazing when the camera isn’t focusing on its two pathetic subjects.
Jacques Audiard gives us a vague happy ending, but be he makes us (and his actors) work for it. You’ll be drained by movie’s end.
Marion Cotillard was nominated for a Golden Globe for this sensitive performance, but (surprisingly) failed to get an Oscar nod.
I think I’ll take my niece who used to work at Sea World to see “Rust and Bone.” A lesson to be learned about those huge killer whales that she loves so much, and the guys who drift in and out of her life.

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