Rust and Bone (De rouille et d’os)

Whales and fighting and other weird things – ★★★½

Rust and Bone is the latest offering from A Prophet director Jacques Audiard and deals with amongst other things – performing killer whales, bare-knuckle street fighting, worker surveillance practices, France’s custody and welfare policies and the emotional and physical issues encountered when you lose both legs. Crikey.

Everyone’s favourite mumbling soft-spoken Frenchie Marion Cotillard plays Stéphanie, an Antibes-based whale trainer who loses both legs in a tragic accident. She encounters Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) a drifting 25-year-old boxer who arrives in town to get his sister to help look after his young son while he searches for work. Their union is an unlikely one, but thanks to terrific performances from both leads we buy into the idea quite quickly with each of them giving the other what he or she needs most in life – Stéphanie to feel wanted and not treated like a cripple, with Ali looking for stability and structure.

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