Marion Cottillard is one of those actresses who seems incapable of putting in a poor performance.
Give her a small role in Inception and she excels, stick her in a poor movie such as Contagion as she still manages to stand out.
There are early shouts for her to win some awards for this latest role, with plenty of reason.
It’s a difficult part to play for a variety of reasons, emotional and physical, but she sails through.
Cottillard is Stephanie, an orca whale trainer, whose life outside work is pretty dull with little direction.
At an Antibes nightclub she meets Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts), a bouncer who is also struggling to find a purpose in life.
He has recently travelled to the area, jobless, with no money and with his young son in tow.
He has moved in with his sister who is also struggling to make ends meet.
A few months later when the pair meet again it’s under very different circumstances.
Stephanie has had a tragic accident at work and has shut herself away from the world.
Alain is trying to earn money by taking part in organised but illegal street fights.
Slowly the two attempt to piece together a life that has some meaning, although the path ahead is far from smooth.
I have to say that while I enjoyed the movie for the most part, there were elements that I struggled with.
We don’t really see enough of Stephanie before her accident to understand her character and Alain is far from someone we can relate to.
I did enjoy director (and co-writer) Jacques Audiard’s work, with some amazing scenes (particularly the reuniting of Stephanie and the orca).
The CGI for Cottillard after her accident is also amazing - there seems to be nothing that modern film-makers can’t recreate.
Overall, it’s all quite gritty (no vivid colours), showing how life is a struggle for many people, with several hurdles that have to be overcome to find happiness and love.
Rust and Bone (15) 123mins.
Director: Jacques Audiard.
Starring: Marion Cottillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Corinne Masiero.
Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley