×

Cate Blanchett on Marion Cotillard in ‘Rust and Bone’

SAG Preview: Actors on Actors - Blanchett on Cotillard

A woman loses her legs in freak accident with killer whale after forming a bond with a drifter-bouncer who rescues her dignity from a nightclub brawl.

A cinematic miracle has taken place in “Rust and Bone.” Not only has such a rare and high stakes situation been rendered plausible but electrifying. That this bizarre set of circumstances has resulted in a film of such revelatory emotional depth is surely because the soul-searching buoyancy of Marion Cotillard has collided with the unhinged Matthias Schoenaerts.

To say the performances are hypnotic is an understatement. Fully comprehending their unique powers, Jacques Audiard has created a universe where brutal street fighting and near death by killer whale are almost a relief, such is the tension he builds externally around these workaday supernovas.

To place two of the most talented , attractive and fearless performers working today in such a physical yet unsentimental relationship to the other would be tension enough .

“You want to fuck,” he finally says — the banality of this perfectly pitched and placed come-on line is met buy such a confused and conflicted response by Marion, who is still coming to terms with her life-changing accident.

Her response is symptomatic of how perfectly this actress has pitched her performance in relation to the unfolding nightmare of her characters situation. The ripples of current experience colliding with past yearnings and the fear of an uncertain future, flash in a microsecond of screen time.Marion has created a unique and groundbreaking combination of the erotic, the banal and incendiary. In “Rust and Bone,” she once again reminds us she is a master of unflinching psychological complexity delivered with a featherweight touch. She allows us in only long enough to reflect our deepest fears back on ourselves.

This film surely crowns her as an actress with little regard for the power of her cinematic beauty, except when she can harness it to reveal the hidden depth to her character and her existential melancholy: a yearning that is simultaneously so open and generous, so closed and defended that we weep for her. Perhaps it is this remarkable unguarded quality that allows Marion to reveal such emotional brutality and fragility almost in the same breath. Revealing strength in the face of monumental uncertainty, Marion has created a character of nobility and candour, seamlessly melding herself into a world we could not have known without her. Her performance is as unexpected and as unsentimental and raw as the film itself.

She is, in a breath, simply astonishing. Yet again.

Return to the SAG Preview

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Tribeca Film Institute

    Tribeca Film Institute Announces Winners for Aspiring Filmmaker Program

    Tribeca Film Institute announced the winners of their 2019 TFI Pond5 program funding aspiring filmmakers. Eight applicants, narrowed down from a pool of 200, were awarded with up to $7,500 in funding for their filmmaking endeavors. The program, in junction with media company Pond5, began the initiative last year to support indie filmmakers in “systematically-excluded [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    Game Awards 2019 to Play on 53 Cinemark Screens Alongside 'Jumanji: The Next Level'

    This year’s Game Awards, recognizing the top video games, creators and esports of 2019, is coming to the silver screen. In a three-way partnership, the Game Awards, Cinemark Theatres and Sony Pictures are teaming on a superticket program pairing the Dec. 12 live simulcast of the 2019 Game Awards in 53 Cinemark locations with a [...]

  • Frozen 2

    Film Review: 'Frozen 2'

    Released in 2013 to a record-scorching $1.29 billion, “Frozen” was such a huge hit for Walt Disney Animation Studios that many of its fans were probably assuming its sequel would play it safe and deliver more of the same: a sparkling 21st-century fairy tale in which a pair of wide-eyed heroines shrug off the need [...]

  • Variety New Leaders in TV

    Lena Waithe's Hillman Grad President Is Among Variety's New Leaders in Film

    Every year, Variety seeks to identify the next generation of leaders in the entertainment business, looking for representatives in the creative community, film, TV, music and digital. This year’s group has a heavy New York focus: We selected executives from forward thinking companies such as Spotify, Group Nine and Endeavor Audio, as well as writers [...]

  • Lilly Burns, Tony Hernandez, John Skidmore,

    Jax Media Soars by Amplifying Unique Voices of Auteur TV

    Jax Media has emerged during the past few years as one of television’s busiest and buzziest production companies. The New York-based company headed by four partners — Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns, John Skidmore and Brooke Posch — has an enviable track record of scouting new voices and executing stylish shows on a less-than-stratospheric budgets. The [...]

  • Abel-Ferrara-Apichatpong-Weerasethakul-Leos-Carax

    Piano Boards Abel Ferrara’s ‘Siberia,’ Backs ‘La Noche Blanca’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    LOS CABOS  —  Driving ever deeper into the international co-production of some of the world’s highest-profile auteurs, Mexico’s Piano has boarded Abel Ferrera’s “Siberia,” starring Willem Defoe. A Mexico City production-distribution house headed by Sundance winning producer Julio Chavezmontes and director Sebastian Hoffman, Piano will produce the film with its other lead producers, Italy’s Vivo [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content