Rust and Bone (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

March 1, 2013 by  

“Rust and Bone” is yet another unique, fresh and wonderful Jacques Audiard film.  An unpredictable, non-banal storyline in which Marion Cotillard absolutely shines in this film!  Highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2012 Why Not Productions, Page 114, France 2 Cinema, Les Films du Fleuve and Lunanime. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Rust and Bone


DURATION: 122 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:40:1, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English – Audio Description Track, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Classics

RATED: R (For Strong Sexual Content, Brief Graphic Nudity, Some Violence and Language)

Release Date: March 19, 2013

Directed by Jacques Audiard

Screenplay by Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain

Story by Craig Davidson

Produced by Jacques Audiard, Martine Cassinelli, Pascal Caucheteux, Gregoire Soirat

Line Producer: Antonin Dedet

Co-Produced by Alix Raynaud

Music by Alexandre Desplat

Cinematography by Stephane Fontaine

Edited by Juliette Welfling

Casting by Richard Rousseau

Production Design by Michel Barthelemy

Art Direction by Yann Megard

Set Decoration by Boris Piot

Costume Design by Virginie Montel


Marion Cotillard as Stephanie

Matthias Schoenaerts as Alain van Versch

Amand Verdure as Sam

Celine Sallette as Louise

Corinne Masiero as Anna

Bouli Lanners as Martial

Jean-Michel Correia as Richard

mourad Frarema as Foued

Yannick Choirat as Simon

From the director of the multi-award-winning A Prophet comes a gripping tale of two souls finding strength in each other after tragedy reunites them. Marion Cotillard (Academy Award® winner, 2007, Best Actress, La Vie En Rose) gives a tour-de force performance as Stephanie, an orca trainer whose life is transformed when tragedy strikes during a show. Faced with unbearable circumstances she turns to Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts, Bullhead), a street boxer fighting his own battle of life-changing events. As their stories intersect, they navigate a gritty relationship in a world where love and courage appear in many forms.

From Jacques Audiard, the director of “A Prophet: and “Read My Lips” comes the award winning French-Belgium film “De rouuille et ‘dos” (“Rust and Bone”).

Receiving positive reviews worldwide, “Rust and Bone” would star Academy Award winning actress Marion Cotillard (“La vie en rose”, “Inception”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, “Contagion”) and Matthias Schoenaerts (“Bullhead”, Black Book”, “Loft”).

And now the film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures classics in March 2013.

“Rust and Bone” revolves around an unemployed father named Ali (portrayed by Matthias Schoenaerts) who takes his 5-year-old Sam (portrayed by Armand Verdure) away from his mother (who used Sam for drug running) to find work in Antibes (in Southern France) and start a new life.

The two move in with his sister Anna (portrayed by Corinne Masiero), who also is struggling with life to pay the bills and works at a factory which she takes expired food and brings it home for she and her husband to eat.

But with Ali now having a place for his son to stay, he gets a job working as a bouncer for the local club while also trying to pursue a job as a security guard.  A former fighter who boxed and also kickboxed, Ali wants to put his skills to good use.

One day while working at the club, an altercation happens between club goers and Ali has to bust a fight, injuring his hand.   Ali helps a bloodied woman named Stephanie (portrayed by Marion Cotillard) up and drives her home.  After driving her home and asking for ice for his hand, he sees pictures on her wall with her and orca whales.  She explains that she works at a local marine tourist park as a trainer for the whales and the two say their goodbyes.

One day while working in front of a large audience at the marine park, we see Stephanie and her co-workers doing a show with the orca whales.  But somehow the performance goes badly and one of the orca whales going for food ends up on the stage, knocking Stephanie into the water and chaos ensues.

We see Stephanie waking up at the hospital but when she wakes up, she realizes that both of her legs have been amputated.

Stephanie’s life has changed forever.  Losing her job and now having to take part in rehabilitating and learning to live without her legs, depressed about her life, she is not sure if she can live.

Meanwhile, Ali gets the job as a security guard and one of his co-workers enjoy watching MMA fights.  One day a man working security sees his interest and tells Ali that he knows a guy who runs fight tournaments and can get Ali involved to make some extra money fighting.  So, Ali begins training and working out for his fights.

But his training and passion for fighting (and also having sex with women) unfortunately makes him neglect his parental duties and taking care of his son, Sam.  Also, receiving a warning that if he continues to forget to pick up his son from school, they will need to call police.

One day, Ali receives a phone call from a depressed Stephanie and Ali goes to visit her.  Seeing how she’s been depressed and also not taking care of herself, he decides that since she lives close to the beach, why not have fun.  So, he brings her out to the beach to be out of her home and he takes a swim.  He then tells her to try swimming and he will help her but she is not sure if she can go back into the water again.

But she puts her trust in Ali and when she goes to the water, she begins swimming despite her disability and has a lot of fun.

The two become good friends and eventually, she begins asking Ali if he has a girlfriend and he tells her that he just has sexual encounters with women.  When he asks if she can have sex or still has desires, she tells him that she does but is not sure if she can have sex again.  So, he tells her that he’s willing to have sex with her if it would help.   And immediately, the two have sex and begin having a sexual relationship.

And overtime, the two begin hanging out and becoming close friends.  Stephanie eventually gets artificial limbs and she joins Ali to help manage his bets during his fighting matches.

But what happens when Stephanie begins to want more than just a friendship from Ali?  And will Ali grow up for the people that he is most closest to?


“Rust and Bone” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio).  The film looks fantastic as the outdoor scenes are colorful and vibrant, close-ups are full of detail, skin tones look natural, black levels are nice and deep.  The film looks fantastic on Blu-ray and the visual effects and how they are able to make Marion Cotillard without any legs was fantastic.  I didn’t notice any artifacts or aliasing, picture quality for the film is nicely saturated and looks fantastic on Blu-ray.


“Rust and Bone” is presented in French 5.1 DTS-HD MA.  The film is primarily a dialogue and music driven film but while the film is primarily center and front-channel driven, there are moments where ambiance is used for the surround channels.  Primarily crowd ambiance or Katy Perry’s “Fireworks” being played, for a film such as “Rust and Bone”, the lossless soundtrack is very good and appropriate.  I didn’t notice any problems with the audio during my viewing of the film.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH and French.


“Rust and Bone” come with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Commentary with Jacques Audiard and Thomas Bidegain
  • Making of Rust and Bone – (59:57) A one hour documentary on the making of “Rust and Bone” directed by Byantonin Peretjatko.
  • VFX Breakdown by Mikros – (2:25) A short before and after visual effects feature on the use of green screen technology and visual effects for “Rust and Bone”.
  • On the Red Carpet: Toronto Film Festival – (2:53) Interviews with the cast and crew on the red carpet of the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Deleted Scenes – (6:45) Six deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • Theatrical Trailer – (1:59) The original theatrical trailer for “Rust and Bone”.

With each film that I have seen from director Jacques Audiard, what I love about the films is how fresh and different they are from Hollywood films.

From his last film “Un prophete” which I found to be amazing, his latest film “Rust and Bone” was a pleasant surprise.

From the trailer to the opening moments of the film, the first thing that was going in my mind was, “oh great, another thug film with a beautiful woman falling for him”.  But also saying to myself that Audiard is not known for banality, he knows how to switch things up for the viewers and surprise them.

So, while the film does start off with a guy who looked as if he came from trouble and has a child joining him, the film is about a man who wants to get his son away from the trouble that the child’s mother was involved in.  Ali is unemployed but he doesn’t want his son to be drug runner at the age of five, so, he moves with the kid to stay with his sister Anne.

Anne is not in the best financial shape but she is at least caring for her brother and her nephew but also emphasizes to him that the boy is his responsibility.  We see how Ali tries to get a good job to help raise his child but he’s not exactly a father figure.  He neglects his son as he puts job, his passion for kickboxing/fighting and having sex with women as more of a priority.

Meanwhile, we are introduced to a beautiful woman named Stephanie who is a whale trainer at the marine aquarium.  But after being chomped on by one of her whales that mistakes her legs as food, she now must move forward with her life with her disability.  But like any person who had legs one day and their whole life altered after losing them, we see Stephanie going through the motions of depression, isolation and not wanting to hear pity stores from family and friends, the only person she doesn’t know that she wants to talk to is Ali.  The guy she met once at the club.

But Ali, turns out to be a cool guy by taking her out to the beach, to get out of her shell and try to enjoy life once again.  But most importantly, Ali is there to not pity her but treat her like a normal human being, even offering to have sex with her, to help her know if she still has desires and can still be a sexual woman.

The two develop this friendship built upon their boody call but it’s when Ali lets her into his world of fighting and seeing how she supports him and how she accepts his son Sam and also his living conditions with no criticism, he eventually begins to war up to her.

But with dreams to be a fighter and a woman who wants more from their “friendship”, is Ali ready to settle down?  And will he come through for the people he matters most, especially his son, Sam.

Part of the film’s efficacy is the magnificent performance by Marion Cotillard.  I don’t think I have seen one bad performance from the actress and in “Rust and Bone”, she is fantastic!  From playing a woman that is happy, depressed, sad, angry and just a full spectrum of emotions that are displayed on screen, Jacques Audiard hit casting gold with Cotillard and it’s this performance that made this film much more enjoyable.

The visual effects for the film was also fantastic and how they were able to capture Cotillard as a person without legs and make the film look so realistic was great.

As for the Blu-ray release, “Rust and Bone” looks amazing on Blu-ray.  Colors are vibrant, especially the outdoor scenes. Closeups show plenty of detail and the visual effects were done to perfection and Cotillard looked as if she didn’t have any legs.  Audio quality is primarily dialogue driven, with the Katy Perry “Fireworks” song and crowd ambiance used for the surround channels to be the most utilized segments of the film’s lossless track.  But dialogue and music is crystal clear.

Overall, “Rust and Bone” is yet another unique, fresh and wonderful Jacques Audiard film.  An unpredictable, non-banal storyline in which Marion Cotillard absolutely shines in this film!  Highly recommended!


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