Cannes, Day Deux: Marion Cotillard’s Whale of a Movie

from The New York Observer:
Cannes, Day Deux: Marion Cotillard’s Whale of a Movie
By Stephen Garrett 5/19 3:28pm
CANNES, FRANCE, MAY 19— Love is in the air here at Cannes, and so is at least one Oscar prospect. Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard is first out of the gate this year with a riveting performance as a double amputee in Jacques Audiard’s tough, achingly beautiful drama Rust and Bone. Crippled by a freak killer whale accident in the south of France (yeah, I just wrote that), Orca trainer Cotillard mends a shattered life by finding mutual redemption in the arms of a stoic single father and amateur kickboxer (played with muscular intensity by human bicep Matthias Schoenaerts). On paper—and in lesser hands—this Riviera romance would seem preposterous. But Mr. Audiard, an alchemist of character studies, conjures up his world with expert flair, and creates a stunning, deeply felt portrait of passion and compassion between a woman aching to connect and a man hiding behind his brute strength. And the broken but gingerly resolute Ms. Cotillard is commanding in a legless role considerably sexier than Gary Sinise’s bitter Vietnam vet from Forrest Gump, aided by breathtakingly seamless digital technology that makes Lieutenant Dan look like the victim of a bad eraser attack.

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