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Rust and Bone(2012)
Put in charge of his young son, Ali leaves the north of France for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Ali's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
For more about Rust and Bone and the Rust and Bone Blu-ray release, see Rust and Bone Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 17, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts
Director: Jacques Audiard
» See full cast & crew
Rust and Bone Blu-ray Review
One of 2012's best foreign films earns spectacular A/V presentations.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 17, 2013
Rust and Bone is one of the grittiest Human Dramas of the past decade. It's a challenging watch on a number of emotional levels, and it's that rough authenticity, its difficult adult themes, and its expert craftsmanship that make it a near instant classic. Director Jacques Audiard's (A Prophet) latest is another masterpiece that drives to the core of mankind on a very raw but also very detailed level. It's the tale of two outwardly dissimilar individuals fighting their own battles and the resultant inward and outward scars left behind in their struggle to find themselves and understand something about the lives they've been given and the world in which they live them. Rust and Bone isn't an easy movie to watch, and neither is it a simple film to understand. Certainly the plot basics are made easy enough to follow and the characters are superbly developed, but it's the way the picture challenges audiences to dig deeper than the medium normally asks, to discover the true inward realities of two lives shaped by difficulties beyond most life experiences and their search for a way past the figurative darkness and, on the inside and the out, back into something resembling the light.
Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts) and his son Sam (Armand Verdure) are destitute, hitchhiking and eating scraps left behind by others. They're traveling to the south of France to stay with Alain's sister Anna (Corinne Masiero), herself not well off but earning enough to scrape by and keep a roof over her head. Alain, a former boxer and kick boxer, finds work as a bouncer at a club called "The Annex." One evening, he breaks up a fight and rescues a bloodied young woman named Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) whom he drives home and feels a connection. He leaves her his phone number. Unfortunately -- or, in some strange way, fortuitously -- tragedy strikes soon thereafter. Stéphanie, an orca trainer, is severely injured during a performance gone terribly wrong. Her legs are amputated and her life seemingly over. She becomes depressed and suicidal, remaining indoors and angry with what life has dealt her. One day, she decides to give Alain a call. He persuades her to leave home and even take a swim in the sea. The two become close; he aids her in coping with her new lifestyle, and she travels with him to his underground fighting matches. Slowly, their bond grows in its own unique way and, even if they are to drift apart, the pull of their souls will keep them forever linked in every way.
Rust and Bone may not be the prototypical "soulful journey" film or melancholic excursion into the depths of the human psyche or soul. It's certainly not amongst the spiritually centered sort of inspirational films, either. What it is a uniquely real movie, a movie not of progression towards a new and better way of life but rather a way towards a greater understanding of life through the prism of inner and outer hardship. Both Alain and Stéphanie fight their own unique battles, and each does so in both the outwardly physical and and inwardly emotional levels. Alain fights for pay and the enjoyment of the sport but he also struggles to understand the purpose of life beyond the immediate, the "quick hits" of the fight and "quick pleasures" of random sex. Stéphanie must come to terms with her physical impairment and battle the psychological scars her ordeal leaves behind, all the while finding a new purpose and satisfaction in life through the company of Alain both outside the home and, later under the sheets. Though they're two people who are dissimilar in so many ways, together they find a balance, a wholeness, where before it didn't exist.
Rust and Bone, powerhouse story it may possess, is defined in large part by the incredible performances of its lead actors. Matthias Schoenaerts is wonderful as the troubled, distractible, unfocused, and in-the-moment Alain. He brings a broad range of believable emotions to a character that instantly feels lived-in and very authentic, very much shaped by his life experiences and not simply what the script says of him. The physical stature nicely blends with the inward struggles, from the film's heartwarming yet difficult opening journey montage and on through to a climax in which his physical attributes finally find a purpose beyond the instant gratification of the fight. He's matched -- maybe bettered -- by Marion Cotillard, who finds a true sense of absolute sorrow after her accident that's, frankly, difficult to watch, and the initial reveal of her amputations proves one of the most challenging scenes in some time, leaving the audience drained from the few moments she explodes in shock and terror and uncertainty. She finds so much depth in the character and handles the incredibly broad range of emotions beautifully, from jovial orca trainer to suicidal amputee and all the way through her emotional recovery, which in some way parallels that of her physical but also seems to take its own course as her mind and body and life experiences restore her wounded soul, once damaged far more severely than even her severed limbs.
Rust and Bone Blu-ray, Video Quality
Rust and Bone's 1080p transfer is a dazzling example of the quality of a great Blu-ray presentation. The only area of concern are blacks that appear slightly too bright in a few scenes and struggling low-light, shadowy color transitions, notably on human skin, that leave an unsightly banding artifact. Otherwise, the image is perfect. Though photographed on video, it's hard to tell; the image produces a handsome film-like appearance. Details are nothing less than striking. Every scene is awash in natural, razor-sharp textures, whether all of the little city nuances in the opening minutes or the very finest facial details that give the transfer an absolutely natural appearance. Even a frayed cloth over the doghouse and the worn-down wood that makes the structure both look fabulous. The color palette favors a slightly gray and cold feel at the beginning, but it livens up beautifully, notably during a scene in which Stéphanie reunites with one of the orcas; the blue water beyond the glass is nothing less than beautiful. Nearly every scene in the film is of natural, pure, vivid quality, a real demonstration of the format's capabilities to bring modern movies into the home. Despite a couple of minor aggravations, this is a reference quality transfer all the way.
Rust and Bone Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Rust and Bone features an aggressive and very well balanced DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. There's very natural traffic ambience to open; the track creates a wide open city environment that intermixes so many little sounds with so much natural authenticity that the environment almost literally springs to life inside the listening area. Such is the case with the entirety of the film. No matter how aggressive or active -- a rumbling train, a revving bike, the general ambiance at the orca show -- or how still and quiet a scene, Sony's track creates a very tangible sonic atmosphere that beautifully defines every scene. Music is perfectly balanced, enjoying faultless spacing, just the right surround support, and consistent top-tier clarity that altogether make the speakers seem to melt away in favor of a startlingly rich presentation. Dialogue, no surprise, is even and true, flowing naturally from the center speaker. This is a rock-solid reference soundtrack from Sony.
Rust and Bone Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Rust and Bone doesn't contain a large number of extras, but what is here is of excellent quality.
Rust and Bone Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Rust and Bone is a fantastic film in every regard. It's beautifully shot, smartly written, and naturally acted. But it's the picture's challenging, well organized, and detailed themes about the constant inner and outer battle to make it through life, the consequences of making right and wrong choices, the real accidents and fortuitous happenings, the role of fate, the need to get up after falling down, and trying to do right even when wrong seems the better and easier way that all contribute to one of the smartest, most raw, and most purely human picture of recent years. Those who appreciate finer, deeper, more thought-provoking cinema shouldn't miss one of 2012's best films. Sony's Blu-ray release of Rust and Bone features standout video and audio. A good array of extra content is included. Very highly recommended.
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Rust and Bone Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Rust and Bone Blu-ray - February 11, 2013
Sony Pictures Classics and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have officially announced and detailed their upcoming Blu-ray release of Jacques Audiard's De rouille et d'os a.k.a Rust and Bone (2012), starring Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Armand Verdure. ...
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