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Simon is a sales representative about fifty. When Mickey, his cop friend, is being shot, he leaves everything to find the murderers. Two years before, Marx, an old gambler, met Frederic, a ... See full summary »
Lonely and destitute, Alain leaves the north of France for his sister's house in Antibes after becoming the sole guardian of his estranged five-year-old son Sam. When he lands a job as a bouncer in a nearby nightclub, things quickly start to look up for the itinerant father and son. Then one night, after breaking up a fight in the club, he meets the radiant Stephanie, and slips her his number after dropping her off safely at home. Though her position on the high end of the social spectrum makes romance an unlikely prospect for the pair, a tragic accident at Marineland robs her of her legs, and finds her reaching out in desperation to him. Her spirit broken by the same tragedy that took her legs, she gradually finds the courage to go on living trough transcendent moments spent with him -- a man with precious little pity, but an enormous love of life.Written by
Armand Verdure takes the most prominent role for a child in one of Jacques Audiard's films. It marked another new challenge for the director, but he cracked it eventually. "It was very difficult, very complicated" Audiard admitted to The Playlist in 2012. "Armand is a great kid, but it's very unstable on set. So I understood it shouldn't be several people talking to him, it should be just one. When he was acting with Matthias [Schoenaerts], it would be Matthias directing. When he was with Marion [Cotillard], it was Marion directing him." See more »
When Ali first carries Stephanie to swim in the sea, as he lifts her off the sun lounger, the actress's real legs cast a shadow. See more »
Jacques Audiard is the maker of the sensational, Oscar-nominated movie Un Prophète. Matthias Schoenaerts is the lead actor in the sensational, Oscar-nominated movie Bullhead. Together, they now have made De rouille et d'os. Is it sensational? Well, um, yes. Will it be nominated for an Oscar? Time will tell!
Like those other two movies, De rouille et d'os is about strong characters, fighting their way through life against all odds. One of those characters is played by Schoenaerts, the Flemish actor who is on the verge of his breakthrough in international cinema. At least, that's what everyone in Cannes was talking about. Next year's American remake of the Flemish blockbuster Loft might well be his ticket to Hollywood.
In De rouille et d'os, Schoenaerts basically plays the same sort of character as he did in Bullhead: lots of muscles, little brainpower. In this movie, he succeeds in embarrassing, hurting or insulting everyone he cares about: his child, his sister and his girlfriend. He seems incapable of showing the least bit of empathy. His rude and insensitive way of treating other people would almost be funny, if it weren't for the sometimes dramatic consequences.
The story is about the relationship between this emotionally handicapped man and a physically handicapped woman. Although they have almost opposite characters, they find each other in their mutual experience of being different from the rest. His lack of sympathy and understanding is almost an advantage for her. She lost her legs, but he doesn't ask her how she copes or if she wants a shoulder to cry on. No, he asks her if she wants to take a dive in the ocean with him. 'Do you realize what you're saying?', she replies. He answers by carrying her in his arms to the sea and letting her discover that she can swim by using only her arms.
Audiard knows how to let his two lead actors excel. Schoenaerts is completely believable as a primitive macho who means well but screws everything up nevertheless. And Marion Cotillard is cast perfectly as a strong-willed woman who refuses to be confined to a wheelchair. I was amazed by her physical appearance as an amputee - you'd swear that she had her legs cut off in order to be able to make this movie. The visual effects are awesome.
But apart from the acting achievements, Audiard also has some nice visual treats. Most of the time, the movie focuses on the actors, but now and then aesthetics take over. The scene with Cotillard in an orca show is an example of superb directing: the huge animals are filmed in such a way, that it becomes clear something terrible is about to happen. De rouille et d'os shows superior craftsmanship on all levels.
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