Rust and Bone Blu-ray Review
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I sat down to watch RUST AND BONE. All I’d heard about the film was that it dealt with a woman who loses her legs in an accident. Not a lot to go on. After watching it, though, I’m certainly glad I did.
Alain (Schoenaerts) has decided to leave Belgium with his young son, Sam (Armand Verdure). As they travel by train to the north of France, they exist on Alain’s wits. When Sam is hungry he searches the train for food left by others and, when they need money, he’s not above stealing. When they reach their destination, the home of Alain’s sister (Corinne Masiero), Alain finds work with a man who deals in security. His first job is as a bouncer in a dance club. One night a fight breaks out and Stephanie (Cotillard) is injured. Alain drives her home and gives her his number, asking her to call if she needs anything. When the call comes, it will turn out that they need each other.
A powerful drama featuring an Oscar-worthy performance by Cotillard, RUST AND BONE is best described as a buddy film-action-romance. And then some. As Alain’s boss begins to trust him he gives him better assignments. From bouncer to night watchmen to helping install surveillance equipment in local food and department stores in order to catch the staff stealing. Stephanie also has a job…she is a trainer at Marine World, dealing with the daily performances of the killer whales. One day an accident causes the platform Stephanie is standing on to collapse and she is thrown into the water. When she wakes up in the hospital she is missing her legs from the knees down. We never really know what happens (in my opinion, judging on the imagery, I’m guessing they are bitten off – nothing else related to the accident seems to be the cause) but the scene where she first discovers what has happened is gut wrenching. As I said above, an Oscar-worthy performance. When she’s released from the hospital she calls Alain and they begin a relationship that appears to be in the “friends’ only” category. Learning that Alain was once a skilled kick boxer his boss sets up local fights in the area. Not in the ring but in parking lots. Stephanie accompanies him to the fights and she seems to serve as an inspiration. One night, while Alain is sharing his exploits of the night before with her, Stephanie remarks that she’s still not sure if “it still works” after her accident. The two make love and have now entered into the “friends with benefits” category. This is never more evident than when Alain, Stephanie and a group of friends go out to a club and Alain leaves with another woman. But it will take an almost complete upheaval of both of their lives before their true feelings are revealed.
Directed by Jacques Audiard with a skilled hand, RUST AND BONE features two brilliant performances, with Schoenaerts matching Cotillard emotion for emotion. He is a man who gets by on anger. He scolds his son…he thrives on it in his fights. He even makes love angrily. Only Stephanie seems to have the cure to that anger and the scenes the two share together are the films’ best. Production values are top notch and the story moves along seamlessly thanks to a brilliant score by Alexandre Desplat.
Video: The 1080p transfer is very impressive, particularly the various outdoor locales featured. The film is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio.
Audio: Recorded in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 It’s often hard to pay attention to the audio when you’re reading subtitles but the mix here was very well done, especially the scenes featuring the whales.
(Like the film, all of the extras are presented in French with English Subtitles)
Audio Commentary: A very indepth and insightful commentary delivered by Director Jacques Audiard, his co-screenwriter Thomas Bidegain and Journalist Arnaud Calistri, who often contributes “making of” pieces to DVDs.
Making RUST AND BONE: A Film by Antonin Peretjatko (59:57): An excellent “making of” featurette that details the shooting of the film including the special effects. A “must see” if you’re a fan of the ins and outs of making a movie.
VFX Breakdown by Mikros (2:25): A look at how various special effects shots progressed during the filming process.
On the Red Carpet: Toronto International Film Festival (2:53): Brief interviews with the cast and crew relating their experiences making the film.
Deleted Scenes (6:45): (6) excised scenes, none of which really add anything to the story. If you wish there is a commentary about the scenes by Audiard and Bidegain.