Leon van Nierop
1 minute read
11 Oct 2013
6:00 am

Back from the brink

Leon van Nierop

Jacques Audiard recently proved with The Prophet that he can turn unlikely and bleak subject matter into a mesmerising and provocative film.

Marion Cotillard plays a whale trainer in Rust And Bone

He does the same with this forceful film that transcends the horror of its gruesome subject matter by turning it into an enthralling exploration of the power of healing through love.

In Rust And Bone a whale trainer (Marion Cotillard) loses her legs after a horrific attack. Another lost soul, effectively underplayed by the powerful Mathias Schoenaerts, tries to rebuild his life with his five-year-old son. When these two grim characters meet, they recognise burnt, used-up lives and sexual frustrations, and start a healing process that will touch your heart.

 

Marion Cotillard plays a whale trainer in Rust And Bone

Marion Cotillard plays a whale trainer in Rust And Bone

 

It never reverts to cheap, easy sentimentality or sleazy exploitation, but becomes a powerful homage to humanity and survival in spite of overwhelming odds.

Marion Cotillard proves herself to be one of the finest actresses of her generation in what must surely be her bravest performance yet. Do not expect an easy-going, romantic interlude along the lines of a glamorous Nicolas Sparks melodrama. This one is gutsy, illuminating, endearing and original and turns cries of anguish into inspiring moments of triumph and survival.