Rust and Bone

Rust and Bone (De rouille et d’os): an unemployed wayward man falls in love with a whale trainer – but in European cinema, it’s rarely as easy as that. This feels like a mish-mash of many big European films – although to name some would probably be spoilers. There’s not much of a scope or message, and as the film jostles with so many big questions that you leave the screen wondering what it was all about – love, coping with disability, family, sex, fighting, morals, fatherly responsibility… to name but a few. It’s also pretty nihilistic, to the point where you hope one good thing happens to the characters, although there’s a few silver linings, and some brief comic relief. You can’t fault the acting much – big, powerful, deep, solemn performances – but it’s very “European social-drama” (open, blunt, provocative everyday dialogue), which matched the vagueness of the story. It’s also peppered with dozens of random arty shots, for no reason other than filler. For such a diehard ‘European’ film, the American Indie/Pop soundtrack felt really out of place, and like it was screaming for international attention. The computer effects (greening out) when required were fantastic, seamless, you would think that everything you saw was absolutely in-frame. Rust and Bone is an interesting film, and to a point it’s watchable, but the vagueness and slow-pace means that your interest dips in and out, and it’s hard to engage with. It does end up feeling like a random bunch of poignant scenes and circumstances.

Score: 4/10

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6 comments
  1. Nostra said:

    Hmm, shame you didn’t like it. Still I’m planning to check this one out as I did like Jacques Audiard’s previous movie Un Prophète

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      How did you find this?

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      • Nostra said:

        I finally saw it, but I personally didn’t like it much. Just didn’t connect to much of it and the ending wasn’t statisfying either.

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  2. This is seriously the first negative review I’ve read for “De rouille et d’os”. It won the Palme d’Or, right? I’m really excited for it to be released in the US (11/23)…hopefully I get to see it. Still, nice writeup.

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Did you ever get round to this – would be interesting to see what you thought.

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      • Sorry I’m just noticing this comment. But no, I never did get around to it.

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