I think I remember the /film podcast really talking up Jaques Audiard previous film, A Prophet, and I even remember seeing the trailer numerous times in the theaters, but it never worked out for me to see the movie. It’s one I do want to watch eventually, even more after seeing his newest film, Rust and Bone.
The story revolves a father (Matthias Schoenaerts, Bullhead) and son (Armond Verdue), who seem to travel from place to place, as they struggle to make ends meet. It seems the mother is out of the picture for the moment, there is mention of her supposedly using the kid to traffic drugs at one point in the movie. They end up at his sister’s place and he seems to find a somewhat steady job working security and bouncing at a club. One night he meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard, Dark Knight Rises) as she has gotten in a fight with someone, and he takes her home.
He finds out later that she works at a Sea World type park with killer whales, but one day tragedy strikes, and they don’t show in great detail what happens, but she ends up losing her lower legs. This is not really a spoiler, they sort of show it in the trailer, although I am still a little weary about mentioning it still. After her accident she is stuck in a rut and her zest for life is gone, so she contacts him and they seem to kindle a friendship, although he is a dick to her during the friendship, making you wonder why she puts up with him. With one of his jobs, he gets involved in some street fighting as a means to earn more money, but there are times that he seems more concerned about fighting than his son. But no matter how much life takes a crap on them, they seem to use each other to help get through it all.
This is one of those movies that is depressing at times and you just wait for a moment of bliss to happen amidst all of the problems between these two. There are some good moments here and there, but they are outnumbered by the bad. So if you are not in a very happy mood, I would suggest holding off on seeing this one a little. I will say that visually it is an amazing film, some very haunting imagery setting through the camera and score. Some amazing slow motion scenes to really get you into the movie, and just enough to build tension where needed. I will say that by the end of the movie, you will really know the back of the performers heads, as he really seems to enjoy from that angle a lot.
It’s not a perfect movie, at times it seems that it keeps changing the focus of the movie and makes you sort of forget about things. The whole fighting side story gets a little weird as she (Cotillard) gets involved almost like a manager/promoter for him (Schoenaerts), not enough to ruin the movie for me, but if I have to comment on the negative, that would be it.
I would say that this movie has some potential to be in my top ten list by the end of the year, definitely one that I would like to see again, and one I would love to talk about with others. And for me, that is a sign of a great movie in my books. If you are lucky enough to have a theater near you that is showing this movie, I would say that it’s worth seeing on the big screen. For everyone else, be sure and give it a watch when it hits Blu-ray or Netflix.
And as I used to always end my reviews on my blog, let’s keep it going here on Geeks of Dooom…