RUST AND BONE (2012, Jacques Audiard): 7/10
A huge step down in intensity from A PROPHET, but not necessarily a step down in quality. With some rather sweet and quiet touches, Audiard tells an unconventional love story here that for a long time really has no direction. We’re not sure where it’s going or why, and it’s never clear if there will be or even needs to be any kind of resolution. It does go a little bit Hollywood in the last 15 minutes, but throughout the film Audiard’s camera allows for two very strong performances from Matthias Schoenaerts (try spelling that without looking it up) and Marion Cotillard. Major props also go to the special effects, which are the very definition of not showy — they only serve to further the story and you can barely tell they’re there. Those are the best kind of effects, of course.
[I’m intentionally leaving any plot details blank in case you don’t know what it’s about — if you’re interested, just see it without reading anything about the premise; there aren’t any twists or anything, but it’s better if you’re unaware of the first act plot development].