Rust and Bone

Rated 3.0

A man down on his luck (Matthias Schoenaerts) living in Antibes, France, with his sister, gets spot-work as a bar bouncer, where he meets a Marineland orca trainer (Marion Cotillard), then befriends the woman when she loses her legs in an attack by one of her whales. Directed by Jacques Audiard and co-written with Thomas Bidegain (from stories by Canadian Craig Davidson, loosely), the movie is measured and uneventful (even that whale attack is shown only obliquely) but never sluggish or slow. Cotillard (who is fast proving herself a world treasure) and Schoenaerts (who just may end up doing the same thing) are both excellent, understated and honest. Schoenaerts has a particular challenge in that his character is a bit of a thoughtless bastard; the man's essential decency surfaces slowly, like peeling an onion.