DVDizzy.com | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | New and Upcoming DVD & Blu-ray Schedule | Upcoming Cover Art | Search This Site

Rust and Bone Blu-ray Review

Rust and Bone (2012) U.S. movie poster Rust and Bone

US Theatrical Release: November 23, 2012 / Running Time: 122 Minutes / Rating: R

Director: Jacques Audiard / Writers: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain (screenplay); Craig Davidson (novel)

Cast: Marion Cotillard (Stéphanie), Matthias Schoenaerts (Alain "Ali" van Versch), Armand Verdure (Sam van Versch), Céline Sallette (Louise), Corinne Masiero (Anna), Bouli Lanners (Martial), Jean-Michel Correia (Richard), Mourad Frarema (Foued), Yannick Choirat (Simon)

Buy Rust and Bone from Amazon.com: Blu-rayDVDInstant Video

You might think that Marion Cotillard has compartmentalized her film acting career like so: make art in her native France and make commercial pictures in America. But although she won a Best Actress Oscar for a French film (2007's La Vie en Rose),
that isn't really the case. While Cotillard's American films are better-known and much more profitable, they've also had her collaborating with accomplished directors like Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises), Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), Steven Soderbergh (Contagion), Michael Mann (Public Enemies) and, before all of them, Tim Burton (Big Fish). With just a few exceptions, the actress' French film credits are obscure and undistinguished, like the Luc Besson-scripted Taxi series of action comedies.

Still, it was another French film that had Cotillard in the running to pick up a second Oscar nomination: Rust and Bone (De Rouille et D'os in French), a drama directed and co-written by Jacques Audiard. Cotillard plays Stéphanie, an orca trainer at Sea World-type aquatic park Marineland. One night, she crosses paths with the lead character, Ali (Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts), a night club bouncer.

When the film opens, Ali and his 5-year-old son Sam (Armand Verdure) are broke and hungry, having to resort to shoplifting to get a fast food meal. They've left Sam's mother behind and head to in the Mediterranean resort town of Antibes to visit Ali's older sister Anna (Corinne Masiero), who hasn't seen Ali in years and has never before met the boy. Grocery cashier Anna and her husband (Jean-Michel Correia) are glad to help Ali get back on his feet. A former competitive boxer and kickboxer, Ali switches to a security guard job he works four nights a week and makes a contact there who can help him earn some side money with random bare-knuckle street fights that are wagered upon.

Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) is understandably depressed after losing both of her legs in a workplace accident. Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) gets a helping hand from his estranged sister Anna (Corinne Masiero).

Meanwhile, at her job, Stéphanie endures a freak accident that leaves her a double amputee, losing both legs at the knee. Depressed, briefly suicidal, and now unhygienically shut-in, Stéphanie reconnects with Ali, who drove her home from his club sometime before her accident, and they form a friendship. The two eventually become friends with benefits, using textual short-hand ("OP?", short for "operational") to arrange booty calls with limited contact and no strings attached.

Though that kind of arrangement was the subject of two racy mainstream American romantic comedies a couple of years back, Rust and Bone is not that kind of movie. Actually, I'm not sure what kind of movie it is and neither is it. It's thoughtful, strange, and all over the place in terms of structure and story. One minute you think you've got it figured out, and the next you realize your grip was tenuous at best. The film is loosely adapted from a collection of short stories by Canadian author Craig Davidson, whom Wikipedia claims has been likened to Fight Club's Chuck Palahniuk, whose endorsement adorns the source text's paperback cover. Don't expect see the resemblance.

Characters fall in and out of focus, our understanding of them changing repeatedly. Stéphanie is unhappy with Ali's frequent sexploits with others, no matter how meaningless they may be. But then their relationship both intimately and professionally (Stéphanie briefly takes over as his fight backer/manager) comes to a halt for a different life-changing calamity.

Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) greets an old colleague through the safety of glass. Father (Matthias Schoenaerts) and son (Armand Verdure) enjoy the sea together.

Rust and Bone is full of English language music that is often given weight, least expected among it Katy Perry's "Firework", which is twice put to use under different conditions.
Despite that unlikely but inspired selection, don't think for a moment that Audiard is courting, or pandering to, American audiences. Many of them will be confounded or conflicted by this film, which builds a puzzling important subplot around Ali's cooperation in installing surveillance cameras to monitor employees in behind-the-scenes areas.

Cotillard and the film would have to settle for Golden Globe nominations in the Best Actress - Drama and Best Foreign Language Film categories, losing both of those to Jessica Chastain and Amour. Rust and Bone had no chance of landing the comparable foreign film nomination at the Oscars, because France instead submitted the crowd-pleasing global blockbuster The Intouchables, which cracked the Academy's shortlist of nine but failed to deliver a nomination itself (keeping Audiard's 2009 prison drama A Prophet the last French film to land one of those).

After grossing a meager $2 million in limited North American release, Rust and Bone hits DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday from import king Sony Pictures Classics.

Rust and Bone Blu-ray cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com Blu-ray Disc Details

2.40:1 Widescreen
5.1 DTS-HD MA (French)
Subtitles: English, English for Hearing Impaired, French
Not Closed Captioned; Extra Subtitled in English
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (BD-50)
Suggested Retail Price: $35.99
Blue Keepcase with Side Snap
Also available on DVD ($30.99 SRP) and Amazon Instant Video


I can't recall a Sony Blu-ray treating a new film to any less than excellent picture quality. That's even true for an import like this. The disc's 2.40:1 transfer renders Rust and Bone's artful visuals clean, sharp, and vibrant. The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio is also first-rate, presenting the French dialogue with in-the-room clarity and music with nice depth. The white subtitles can occasionally be difficult to make out against the brighter sun-lit scenes, but they are great, even if they unnecessarily transcribe a bit of online video boxing commentary that's already in English.

In "Making 'Rust and Bone'", Marion Cotillard wears bright green knee-high socks so that her lower legs can be digitally removed. Belgian man Matthias Schoenaerts and director/co-writer Jacques Audiard share a jolly moment on the red carpet of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.


The Blu-ray's all-HD extras begin with an audio commentary by writer-director Jacques Audiard, co-writer Thomas Bidegain, and, as facilitator, journalist Arnaud Calistri. Like the film, it is in French, but subtitled in English. That makes this already daunting format just a little more of a chore.
Still, the track is as solid as any new film made by experienced filmmakers. They talk about working with a child actor, editing considerations, the necessary visual effects, filming conditions, and American song selections.

As its long title suggests, "Making Rust and Bone: A Film by Antonin Peretjako" (59:57) is a full blown making-of documentary. It takes us behind the scenes, showing more than telling, which is always good, and naturally paying much attention to the realizing the subtle but significant visual effects demands. Other topics include working with killer whales and water. We're not left to our own devices, either, as Audiard shares his process and Peretjako provides the occasional narration. While Rust and Bone isn't necessarily a movie that screams "hour-long making-of documentary", this is a good companion piece.

"VFX Breakdown by Mikros" (2:25) shows us how Marion Cotillard's lower legs were digitally removed or replaced by prosthetics with the use of knee-high green socks. While Gary Sinise can surely relate, the rest of us should be impressed by how easy it is to do this kind of subtle movie magic convincingly these days.

"On the Red Carpet: Toronto International Film Festival" (2:53) gathers sound bites from the director and the lead actors in a mix of languages at the film's Canadian premiere.

Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) and Sam (Armand Verdure) do a bit of father-son computing in this deleted scene. The US theatrical trailer quotes ringing critical remarks, like this New York Post metaphor.

Six deleted scenes (6:45) are presented with optional audio commentary explaining their omissions from the film.
They present the aftermath of Ali's shoplifting scheme, Stéphanie conversations with others and getting prepped for a night out post-accident, and Ali and son responding to an online message with trash talk.

Finally, Rust and Bone's US theatrical trailer (1:59) is preserved, upholding Sony Pictures Classics' reputation as one of the studios who regularly provide what should be a standard inclusion.

"Previews" repeats the numerous trailers, with which the disc opens, for Celeste & Jesse Forever, Chicken with Plums, Smashed, West of Memphis, Amour, and No.

The menu gives us a tender, piano-scored montage of filtered clips. The disc supports bookmarks and thoroughly resumes playback.

No inserts, just reverse side artwork are found within the side-snapped blue keepcase. That means no UltraViolet stream or Sony Rewards points are included with this purchase.

Friends with benefits Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) and Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) share a walk and roll in "Rust and Bone."


Rust and Bone is certainly an interesting and involving film, though not an especially consistent or satisfying one. Good acting, complex characters, and compelling themes are not enough to entirely overlook the convoluted storytelling. It's still worth a look for those who appreciate foreign cinema and Sony's Blu-ray makes that look easy and enriching, with its strong presentation and sturdy collection of bonus features.

Buy Rust and Bone from Amazon.com: Blu-ray / DVD / Instant Video

Buy from Amazon.com

Related Reviews:
New: The IntouchablesHoly MotorsMarvin's RoomThis Must Be the PlaceThe MasterOn the Waterfront
Featuring Marion Cotillard: The Dark Knight RisesContagionMidnight in ParisNine
Amputees on Film: Soul SurferForrest GumpDolphin TaleBattleshipThe Amazing Spider-Man
Foreign Language Films: The Diving Bell and the ButterflyIn a Better WorldMicmacsMy Life as a Dog
The FighterRockyHere Comes the BoomNo Strings AttachedEverybody's FineKaty Perry: Part of Me

DVDizzy.com | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | New and Upcoming DVD & Blu-ray Schedule | Upcoming Cover Art | Search This Site

Search This Site:

DVDizzy.com Top Stories:

Reviewed March 14, 2013.

Text copyright 2013 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2012 Sony Pictures Classics, Why Not Productions, Page 114, France 2 Cinéma, Canal+, Ciné+, French Televisions,
and 2013 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.