De rouille et d’os (2012)

Rust and Bone (English Title)
Short Facts

Screenwriter: ,
Based upon: Rust and Bone by Craig Davidson
Starring: , , , , , ,
Runtime: 120 minutes
MPAA Rating: France: Tous publics, US: R, UK: 15
Filming Dates: October + November 2011
Filming Locations: n/a
Theatrical Release: France: 17 May 2012, US: 16 Nov 2012, UK: 2 Nov 2012
DVD Release: France: 7 Nov 2012, US: 19 Mar 2013, UK: 25 Feb 2013


It all begins in the North of France.

Ali suddenly finds himself with a five year old child on his hands. Sam is his son, but he hardly knows him. Homeless, penniless and friendless, Ali takes refuge with his sister in Antibes. There things improve immediately. She puts them up in her garage, she takes the child under her wing and the weather is glorious.

Ali first runs into Stephanie during a night club brawl. He drives her home and leaves her his phone number. He is poor, she is beautiful and self-assured.

Stephanie trains killer whales at Marineland. When a performance ends in tragedy, a call in the night again brings them together.

When Ali sees her next, his princess is confined to a wheel chair: she has lost her legs and quite a few illusions. He simply helps her, with no compassion or pity. And she comes alive again.

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From other people

I can’t imagine who else could have played Stéphanie, just as I can’t imagine who else could have played Piaf in La Vie en rose. There’s a virile authority to her acting, and at the same time she exudes sexuality. She’s very seductive. There’s another reason: I’m not forgetting that she’s extremely famous. And that fame adds to the fiction. When her legs are amputated, it’s a cinematic convention: we know it’s a famous actress playing a role. She’s a princess, a princess who falls from on high.
• Jacques Audiard (Director)

From Marion Cotillard

When I read the script, I loved Stéphanie right away, but I have to say that I didn’t really understand her. I was a bit freaked out to confess that to Jacques, and he said, ‘Well you know, it’s the same for me. I don’t know who she is and we’re going to have to take the road together and find her and give her life.’ That was very exciting for me. At the end, there’s still some mystery about Stéphanie.

I’ve worked with amazing directors. But the thing with Jacques is you feel the love that he has for his story and the characters—it’s so strong, it’s very, very inspiring. Audiard is a poet.

I researched and I watched videos of amputees. But I got more out of a direction Jacques gave me. He told me, “Sometimes part of her refuses the situation so sometimes she will try to stand up and she will forget that she has no legs and she will fall.” You don’t see that onscreen but it made me feel the part. The CGI is the least interesting part, though the technical people did amazing work. What matters is the flesh, bones, sexual, violent physicality.

When there’s nothing left, it’s just you, your soul, and what’s deep inside of you. Will you be able to face it or will you be too afraid to face it? We see the encounter of two naked souls who surrender to this nudity. That’s the beauty of this story and these people.

From reviews

As for Cotillard, she’s predictably fantastic, again showing why she’s one of the best actors of her peers. So much of what Stephanie is going through is written on her face, and Cotillard says more in a carefully sly smile than anything spoken. The two share an easy chemistry, and watching them both here, with great material to work with, is a great pleasure, and at times, a master class in film acting..
• The Playlist

Cotillard’s work here is incredible, nuanced and real, and the film dodges easy sentiment at every turn. Instead of playing Stephanie as a victim in need of healing, the film treats her the same way Ali does, as a person who was knocked down but who has the strength to stand up again on her own. She’s no victim, and Ali’s not some perfect angel who has all the answers for how to fix her..
• HitFix

Schoenaerts is as good as Cotillard at avoiding the trap of melodrama, and they sustain a film that’s not as obviously notable as A Prophet but, much more quietly, makes a considerable mark..
• Evening Standard

What could have been simply bizarre, sentimental or contrived here becomes an utterly absorbing love story; Rust and Bone is a tale of a miraculous friendship which evolves into an enthralling and moving romance, wonderfully acted by Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts. Its candour and force are matched by the commitment and intelligence of its two leading players. These factors, linked with the glowing sunlit images captured by cinematographer Stéphane Fontaine and emotion-grabbing music from Alexandre Desplat make for a powerful spectacle. It is a passionate and moving love story which surges out of the screen like a flood tide..
• The Guardian

The kudos here go to Schoenaerts and Cotillard who simply radiate off the screen, be it in times of passion, rage, comfort or despair. As the film came to a close and the credits played over white I couldn’t help but feel I had once again seen a true master at work and a pair of actors that will be entertaining us for years to come..
• Rope of Silicon

In these scenes, Cotillard shows she doesn’t need the validation of Cannes or the Academy. Her strong, subtle performance is gloriously winning on its own..
• Time Entertainment

Cotillard is the kind of actress whose eyes draw one into a place of deep identification, and though her character seems secondary to the dysfunctional father-son bond, this quality makes Stephanie the film’s aching soul. .
• Variety

Awards & Nominations

= Win = Nomination

  • Best actress from Australian Film Institute
  • Best Leading Actress from British Academy of Film & Television Arts Awards
  • Best Actress from Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
  • Best Actress (Meilleure actrice) from César Awards
  • Best Actress from Chlotrudis Awards
  • Best Actress (Premier rôle féminin) from Etoiles d’Or du Cinéma
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama from Golden Globes
  • Best Actress from Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Actress of the Year from Hollywood Film Festival
  • Best International Actress from Irish Film and Television Awards
  • Actress of the Year from London Critics Circle Film Awards
  • Best Actress (Meilleure comédienne) from Lumière Awards
  • Best International Actress (Beste Buitenlandse Actrice) from Rembrandt Awards
  • Best Foreign Actress (Mejor Actriz Extranjera) from Sant Jordi Awards
  • Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role from Screen Actors Guild Awards
  • Best Actress from Vancouver Film Critics Circle
  • Best Actress from Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards