A tender yet heavily de-romanticized love story between a boxer with broken hands and an orca trainer with missing legs, Rust and Bone serves as an impressive if somewhat overblown exercise in contrasts.
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Lyrical touches and the most moving use ever of Katy Perry's "Firework" almost cancel out a cheap-shot third-act tragedy, yet it's the actors that save the film from soaping itself into Euro-miserablist irrelevance.
Slant Magazine by Jesse Cataldo
It runs a complicated bait and switch on its audience, passing ostensible exploitation fodder through a high-toned prestige filter.
The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw
What could have been simply bizarre, sentimental or contrived here becomes an utterly absorbing love story.
Rolling Stone by Peter Travers
Writer-director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) probes the psyches of two people in crisis. His hypnotic film means to shake you, and does. Schoenaerts reveals unexpected layers in Ali. And Cotillard delivers a tour de force of unleashed emotions. She's astonishing.
Proving again that her Best Actress Academy Award for playing Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose" was no fluke, the marvellously sensual Marion Cotillard, with her wounded doe eyes and look of permanent unfulfilled longing, delivers another kidney punch as a double amputee in love with an illegal bare-knuckle fighter in the French shocker Rust and Bone.
Sometimes engrossing, sometimes exasperating romance. In these scenes, Cotillard shows she doesn't need the validation of Cannes or the Academy. Her strong, subtle performance is gloriously winning on its own.
The Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy
Absorbing if somewhat predictable in its dramatic trajectory, Jacques Audiard's follow-up to his powerhouse prison yarn "A Prophet" benefits from unvarnished, forthright performances from Marion Cotillard and Bullhead hunk Matthias Schoenaerts, as well as from the utterly convincing representation of the former's paraplegic state.