Matthew Lickona 7 a.m., April 24
Rust & Bone (De rouille et d'os)
Two broken people — massive, insensate Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) and wounded, miserable Stephanie (Marion Cotillard, scrubbed of both makeup and glamor) — warily, even unconsciously approach the prospect of supplying one another's deficiencies. Not out of charity, but out of ordinary, human need and the ordinary, human response to that need. Rust and Bone is most obviously a story of bodies — powerful Ali tending to broken Stephanie in any way she likes, including sexually. But the sex, as it so often does, winds up creating complications, which are no less real for their being immaterial. She tries to draw him into the realm of moral feeling (one that will include more room for his young son); in return, he awakens her to his life of fighting and thrusting. Director Jacques Audiard offers a harsh look at a harsh world, but his camera stares without leering, searching for beauty in an unpretty landscape. 2012.
— Matthew Lickona