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Flash Movie Review: Rust and Bone

There is a wide chasm between dependency and codependency. As my mother entered the world of Alzheimer’s disease, she had to depend on my father’s instructions for the simplest of tasks. Then there was a couple I knew where the husband continually cheated on his wife. She always took him back; she felt she deserved it due to low self-esteem. This would be an example of codependency. As the story unfolded in this dramatic movie, I could not clearly say if the two main characters were dependent on each other or not. One person was emotionally handicapped while the other was physically. Former kick-boxer Alain van Versch, played by Matthias Schoenaerts (Black Book, Bullhead), with his son Sam, played by newcomer Armand Verdure, moved from Belgium to his sister’s house in Antibes France. Having taken a job as a bouncer at a nightclub, he met Stephanie who was too drunk to drive home. Alain drove her home and left her his phone number. From that one act of kindness, their lives would begin traveling on a parallel course, each one seeking to fulfill a need. Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, Big Fish) was incredible playing whale handler Stephanie. She already has received nominations for her acting in this role. Matthias’ character was the perfect blend of a good heart masked over by brute strength. I would not say the relationship between Alain and Stephanie was a traditional love story. To the credit of the director and writers, I felt they brought out the beauty of the film by not making a standard love story. The screenplay went to a much deeper level as we observed two damaged individuals trying to make their way in life. My only criticism was the ending felt a little too neat and tidy, compared to the rest of the movie. With several brilliantly filmed scenes; this dark, emotionally charged film left me pondering the fine line between codependency and dependency. Brief scenes of blood and violence. French with English subtitles.


3 1/3 stars

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