This week’s film review: Rust and Bone

Alain, a down-and-out ex-boxer travels across France with his son and is taken in by his sister in order to help him turn his life around.

Rust and Bone

Cert.15

3.5/5 stars

Alain, a down-and-out ex-boxer travels across France with his son and is taken in by his sister in order to help him turn his life around.


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A one-off meeting with killer whale trainer, Stephanie, (Marion Cotillard) becomes a profound partnership after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident and the two tortured souls come to rely on each other.

Opinion constantly flip flops over who needs the other more - Stephanie doesn’t seem the type to mix with Alain’s sort, and Alain’s feckless attitude certainly doesn’t suggest any commitment on his part, yet he continues to come back, even when Stephanie, in her darkest days, is almost impossible to deal with.

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Both of them have obvious, if not visible, demons to tackle, and they both come a long, painful way from where we first meet them.

It is their relationship with each other that keeps picking them up and pushing them forward as setback after setback threatens to overwhelm them.

Stick with Rust and Bone through the murky, stressful scenes - you need to experience Stephanie and Alain’s rock bottom to enjoy their ascension and be lured in by the self-analysing theme - are you the best you can be, or could you achieve more, do more and help others to do so too?

Top tips - it’s in French with English subtitles and the sex, violence and emotional stress is far too much for those at the younger end of the 15 certification band.

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