Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Original title: De Rouille Et D’Os
France/Belgium, 2012. Why Not Productions, Page 114, France 2 Cinéma, Les Films du Fleuve, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone, Lumière, Lunanime, Canal+, Ciné+, France Télévisions, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, VOO, Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds, Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Département des Alpes-Maritimes, Casa Kafka Pictures Movie Tax Shelter Empowered by Dexia, Festive Films, Neon Productions. Screenplay by Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, based on the story by Craig Davidson. Cinematography by Stephane Fontaine. Produced by Jacques Audiard, Martine Cassinelli, Pascal Caucheteux. Music by Alexandre Desplat. Production Design by Michel Barthelemy. Costume Design by Virginie Montel. Film Editing by Juliette Welfling.
Matthias Schoenaerts arrives in Antibes with his young son after breaking up with his wife, moving in with his grocery store clerk sister and truck driver brother-in-law and searching for a new life with very few resources to rely upon. While working as a bouncer at a swanky club, he meets a beautiful woman (Marion Cotillard) with a problematic attraction to trouble. The next time he sees her, he finds her in a devastated condition: her job as a whale trainer at a theme park has left her missing her legs after a freak accident in the pool with an ornery orca. The two of them begin a friendship that turns sexual and then turns tender, she managing him as he earns money prizefighting and he boosting her ego through her rehabilitation back into the world of the upwardly mobile. It’s a smoothly polished film, acted to perfection and attractive to the eye, but Jacques Audiard barely scratches the surface of everything he is exploring here. The two actors have terrific chemistry but their characters are hardly memorable, he little more than a champion brooder and she defined solely by her handicap and little else. It goes to some strange and dark places for such an unmemorable film, but it’s only passably diverting, a shame given the superb work being done by both leads.
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Actress-Drama (Marion Cotillard); Best Foreign Language Film
Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination: Best Actress (Marion Cotillard)
Toronto International Film Festival: 2012