Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
Lonely and destitute, Alain leaves the north of France for his sister's house in Antibes after becoming the sole guardian of his estranged five-year-old son Sam. When he lands a job as a bouncer in a nearby nightclub, things quickly start to look up for the itinerant father and son. Then one night, after breaking up a fight in the club, he meets the radiant Stephanie, and slips her his number after dropping her off safely at home. Though her position on the high end of the social spectrum makes romance an unlikely prospect for the pair, a tragic accident at Marineland robs her of her legs, and finds her reaching out in desperation to him. Her spirit broken by the same tragedy that took her legs, she gradually finds the courage to go on living trough transcendent moments spent with him -- a man with precious little pity, but an enormous love of life.
Marion Cotillard stated that she hates filming sex scenes, which for her are usually the worst part of being an actress, but for the first time she enjoyed her sex scenes in a movie with Rust and Bone. She said: "I am shaking; I feel very bad and I want to cry most of the time because I hate it so much, but here it was totally different. I was so involved with my character that I was happy she would enjoy something like that. It's a movie about love, about flesh, about rust and bone and heart and sex, so without the sex scenes the movie would have missed something". See more »
When Ali first carries Stephanie to swim in the sea, as he lifts her off the sun lounger, the actress's real legs cast a shadow. See more »
This Audiard film is one that grows on you. For quite some time into the film it seems both the film and its main characters aimlessly sit in their cocoon without breaking out. One feels some very vague potential in people but somehow their very lives seem the greatest impediments to its blossoming. One wonders what the film is about and where it is going. Like its characters, it feels like a bunch of loose ends aimlessly hanging about. But I must say that at the end of the movie it has grown on you: suddenly, as the story progresses, the film hatches, the characters break out of their cocoon and in retrospect one feels one has been witness to the improbable -and yet realistic- birth of an unusual but deep love story between two common people. The story has a hidden intensity of screenplay which is intensely performed by Schoenaerts and Cotillard. It creeps beneath your skin. If you like Audiard's way of developing gradual character drama with an intensity that seems to be implicit, buried beneath trailer-trash but still strongly present, you'll like this film. It's a story of how one can find anew a purpose in life when one feels like wasted trash. I watched this film in a full theatre of some 300 people. At the end most everybody sat silent for some minutes. It seems the film had touched something inside quite some of us there. Film as it should be.
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