Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a brutal and selfish loser, put in charge of his son, and in need of a new start in life. He relocates to an ocean side city in France, where he gets a job as a security guard. It is while he is working the door at a club that he meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), a dolphin trainer at a local amusement park who seems at the end of her limit of patience with her own life. When Stephanie is involved in an accident that costs her her legs, she leans on Ali to try and find a way back to the world. Ali's true nature is revealed quickly, though, leaving Stephanie to contend with the emotional roller coaster of being involved with this man.
Directed by Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, The Beat That My Heart Skipped), Rust and Bone is a powerful film about accepting others for who they are, and having to accept your own faults and problems and over coming them. It is not just Stephanie who must overcome her injury. Ali must also come to the realization that his behavior is dangerous to both himself, and those around him. The film moves at a perfect pace, with perfect acting, and perfect cinematography. It is one of my favorites of this year, so far.