CANNES 2012: De Rust and Bone by Jacques Audiard (competition official selection)

Amputation of both legs following a work accident, an orca trainer (Marion Cotillard) regains a taste for life in contact with a marginal chaining odd jobs in security (Matthias Schoenaerts) then street fighting. But the latter is quickly overtaken by the instability of his existence, his violence and his irresponsibility chronic. A new success for Jacques Audiard, precious and rare virtuoso of French cinema.

“Ten to twelve minutes of standing ovation” have I have read on Twitter after the screening last night, the last Audiard Cannes. Other messages of confreres upset, under shock, circulated on the web. Very loosely based on the short story collection ‘s Rust and Bone , Craig Davidson (Albin Michel), that punch drama actually leaves you on the ropes after his last fade to white, as after a severe thrashing. Emu? Not necessarily. Exactly as in the three films I’ve seen Audiard ( A Self-Made Hero , See How They Fall , A Prophet ), Rust and Bone does not really draws tears. It is not far, sometimes, as in a magnificent scene of mental “rebirth” on her balcony by St├ęphanie (Marion Cotillard), crippled orca trainer, brought back into the light by her relationship with Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts).

But this narrative rather amazes us even when we petrifies dramatic unceremoniously dumps administered the viewer through the violence of feelings and power frames. This is undoubtedly an intimidating film whose formal amplitude and the animal charism of the two broken heroes “absorbs” you without escape as the tractor beam of some intersidereal base with rounded form. An example among others: the scene of the accident at the Marine Land, the one that will cost her legs to St├ęphanie. In his unique way of composing his plans for disaster, it is said that Audiard would be a brilliant director of blockbusters of action or disaster films. One is immediately immersed in a palpable tension thanks to the skill of the maestro to combine the music, the plans of crowd, those of the orcs and the gestures of the trainers during the spectacle that will rock in the drama. His frames are clear, meaningful, sometimes stunning, poetic … directors like Audiard, whose films resemble Cinema, are counted in France on the fingers of a Simpson hand.

Drama clear , amazing fusion of fairy tale and realistic social chronicle, De Rust and Bone string of uppercuts with disarming ease. The stigma of the amputation of Stephanie and their consequences on his daily life, he shows them full pot, without shame or lack of visual taste (cap the CGI). His hypnotic virtuosity breaks our incredulity as Ali breaks his jaws during his clandestine fighting, but we are still on the threshold of the great film. At stake is this irremovable natural reserve of Audiard, a spell a bizarre chouia reserved for the character of Cotillard (moreover left on the bench in the last reel) and a final dramatic turn a little telephoned, although again the strength of the Staging makes the pill pass.

These are just that mistakes minor . Hymn to the doors banging fate up to make fart phalanges, those who fall seven times get up eight, De Rust and Bone bewitches and acts long after the final credits. It is a work fascinated by brute force, animal or human, often shown in slow motion and that leaves no room for the weak. Some scenes from this movie will remain. Audiard and, not content to confirm the talent of the Belgian Matthias Schoenaerts (revealed by Bullhead ), Marion Cotillard offers the first leading role of his career (forget the fairground attraction in La Vie en Rose ). Win by knockout then? Not necessarily, but to the points certainly.

Of Rouille and bone, by Jacques Audiard (1h55). In theaters.