Rust and Bone

Two wounded souls unite.

Directed by Jacques Audiard

(R)

***

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This French film may be “a shameless melodrama, but that’s a big part of its appeal,” said Chris Vognar in The Dallas Morning News. “It does nothing halfway,” and director Jacques Audiard displays “complete control of his material.” Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard stars as a woman who begins a sexual relationship with a single-dad kickboxer after she loses parts of both of her legs while working with a killer whale in a marine park. As the male lead, Matthias Schoenaerts exudes an “effortless” masculinity, while Cotillard has made herself a candidate for a second Oscar, said Mary Corliss in Time. The La Vie en Rose star “demonstrates again her eerie ability to write complex feelings on her face, as if from inside, without grandstanding her emotions.” Rust and Bone could be labeled a fairy tale, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. It is, in the end, “the kind of big-hearted boxing movie that has long been a Hollywood staple, coupled with a tale of disability that is equally familiar.” But it’s redeemed by its naturalistic performances, and by “a rough, raw, and sometimes thrillingly ugly magic.”

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