Rust and Bone 3/4 – a movie review by James Berardinelli

March 28, 2013 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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When Rust and Bone tells a story of a woman’s recovery from a devastating injury, it hits all the right notes, traveling a path that is poignant without being mawkish and triumphant without being saccharine.

However, when it chronicles the life of a self-absorbed drifter and petty boxer, it stumbles on more than one occasion. Of course, these two tales intersect, sometimes for the better and sometimes not so. The most disappointing and ultimately least satisfying aspect of Rust and Bone is the understated ending which offers closure in such a perfunctory fashion that it leaves one feeling that something profound is missing once the end credits begin rolling.

I have a great deal of respect for French writer/director Jacques Audiard, whose previous outings include Read My Lips and A Prophet. Taken as a whole, Rust and Bone isn’t as good as either of those movies; it’s easy to feel a little frustrated with Audiard’s latest precisely because certain scenes and extended passages are damn near perfect in their depiction of human emotions and states of mind. Unfortunately, the production as a whole doesn’t maintain that same high level. It’s a case of the whole being less than the sum of its parts.

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