Marion Cotillard gives an Oscar quality performance in Rust and Bone
11:30 GMT, 2 November 2012
RUST & BONE (15)
Verdict: Strong acting, weak script
Anyone in search of genuinely Oscar-quality acting should go instead to Rust & Bone, a French romantic drama that makes tremendous use of Marion Cotillard as a trainer of killer whales who loses her legs but gains a man.
The special-effects are amazingly realistic, as is the leading lady’s luminous, anguished and extremely moving performance.
Jacques Audiard’s follow-up to The Prophet will be a gruelling experience for some, especially as the male romantic interest is a loutish bare-knuckle fighter (Matthias Schoenaerts) with no manners and extremely primitive notions of how to look after his small son.
Oscar-quality: Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard who star in Rust & Bone, a French romantic drama
He’s not exactly a great catch, and Mickey Rourke played a similar role to far greater effect in The Wrestler.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the film as an entertaining night out. And there’s a melodramatic ending that feels contrived, much too obviously tacked on to make a feelgood conclusion.
But there’s emotional intensity here, a feeling of growth in the two characters, and a point. The film has worthwhile things to say about the importance of reconciliation: between man and woman, brother and sister, father and son, human and animal.
It has everything, in fact, that The Master lacks, including a soul. And you won’t see a more subtle screen performance than Cotillard’s, who miraculously manages to surpass even her Oscar-winning Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose. Now that’s what I call great acting.