RUST AND BONE
I’m watching “Rust and Bone”, nominated for numerous awards for Best Foreign Picture, and after an hour, I realized I was bored. While the film’s initial set up is intriguing, after the premise is established, the film degenerates into a trite, and rather clichéd drama. Like “The Sessions”, this movie displays a prurient interest in handicapped sex scenes. This time around, Marion Cottilard is having sex because she has fallen in love after a horrible accident. The scenario is much more palatable than Helen Hunt providing sex as a sex surrogate. These two films, both released in the same year, garnered a minimum of four award nominations. I, for one, certainly hope this does not signal a trend.
Alain van Versch, played by Matthias Schoenaerts, is given custody of his son and opts to leave his Belgium home to make a new life in Antibes. Unfortunately, Alain is still a child himself and is rather immature for the responsibilities of fatherhood. He meets Stephani (Cotillard) who trains Shamu at Sea World. She brings a bit of stability to Alain’s life, when she suffers a tragic accident, putting a strain on both their lives.
KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:
- THE BEACH
- THE RETURN TO THE WHALES
“Rust and Bone” is directed by Jacques Audiard. He also scripted the film, along with Thomas Bidegain. Being good Europeans and card-carrying members of the EU, they can’t help dropping references to Socialism, specifically the “worker state”, in a most favorable mien. Normally a philosophy of distain, it should be all too familiar with over 50% of the population who now depend on government hand-outs for a living and who reelected the man who is fundamentally reshaping this country to the Socialist ideology.
Once Alain and Stephani find each other, “Rust and Bone” plays like a Murphy’s Law recital. There is, however, no cohesive glue to tie events together. What happened to Alain’s first job? How in the world was the issue at the bar resolved? Where is Alain’s son during key sequences of the film? How is Alain’s sister able to sit idly by why all these events are occurring? How in Cecil B. DeMille’s name can this movie end well?
That last question is key. The answer is, it can’t, but it does. Editor Juliette Welfling painted herself into such a tight corner with the characters and their scenarios, that in nearly Deus et Machina methodology, she wraps up everything pell-mell in the last four minutes of the final reel. It’s akin to cinematic interuptus. Quick, we’ve created a nearly impossible conclusion, so let’s cut in a few quick scenes and get out of here before anyone comes to their senses! It’s film editing according to King Jullien.
How “Rust and Bone” managed to garner Best Picture accolades is beyond me. The trials and tribulations are all ripped-off from other films. You can envision sequences unfolding like Tom Brady can read the Houston defense. It’s European, so maybe the box office across the pond will cater to this drivel, but we won’t tolerate it here.
THE GRADE FOR RUST AND BONE = D.
Fiore Mastracci is an award-winning filmcritic with over 30 years experience criticizing films and producing TV shows. He is convinced the best foreign films are coming from England and Asia. The rest, currently, are just posers.