Leeds Film Festival 2012 Review: Rust and Bone
Its after this scene, though, that Rust and Bone decides to forget about structure, an approach that isnt entirely successful. Where Audiards masterful A Prophet had a tight, driven story to fit its ruthlessly opportunistic protagonist, Rust and Bone is about an aimless drifter who meets a woman in search of meaning, and the film acts accordingly. It appears expository material may have been left on the cutting room floor, or maybe Audiard just wanted it to feel that way disjointed, random like life. Whatever the reason, it's more often jarring than compelling. For a long expanse of time, subplots clatter clumsily into one another. Alis volatile relationships with his son and sister flare up intermittently. His nefarious money-making scheme with a co-worker is shoehorned in for the sake of a strained later plotpoint. And Stephanies early promiscuous behaviour is never explained; neither is why her live-in boyfriend disappears after her accident. There are several threads that begin this way, from nowhere, and that disappear without reason. Still, Rust and Bones merits lay beyond structure. The overall result transcends negatives because theres impact in Audiards camera, whatevers happening. Thats what hes all about really: impact, and reality. He understands how to make you feel the sting of a punch or the warmth of a burgeoning love affair, bringing a visceral edge most directors can only dream of tapping into. Rust and Bone lacks focus, and theres a vast middle section made up of narrative messiness, but Audiard never fails to make an impact. Schoenaerts and Cotillard, too, are at the top of their game and it's their intelligent performances, surrounded by Audiard's raw, perceptive style, that makes the film work so well. If its not quite as memorable as A Prophet, Rust and Bone is just as absorbing.