By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist April 11, 2012 at 6:47AM
In a competitive year that sees new films from Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Spielberg, Wes Anderson, David Cronenberg, Andrew Dominik, John Hillcoat and many others, there's one film that we've been quietly anticipating just as much, if not more: "Rust & Bone," the latest from Jacques Audiard, the man behind firecracker French crime pictures "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" and "A Prophet."
Starring Marion Cotillard and "Bullhead" star Matthias Schoenaerts, the film, adapted from short stories by Canadian author Craig Davidson, follows the relationship between a homeless man (Schoenaerts) and a trainer of killer whales in a sea park (Cotillard) who loses her legs in a horrific accident. Hot on the heels of the first image a few weeks ago, a first French-language trailer has arrived via Cinemateaser.
While a lack of subtitles means we're probably missing a lot of nuances, it looks pretty great: certainly a change of pace from Audiard's last two films, but looking typically raw, muscular and uncompromising, while there's some beautiful lensing on display, courtesy of regular DoP Stéphane Fontaine (many of Audiard's collaborators are returning for his latest, most notably composer Alexandre Desplat). And if nothing else, this seems to be a performance that, if it can overcome the subtitled prejudice, could well put Cotillard back in the awards game.
With a French release date set for May 17th, it would seem to be a lock to premiere on the same day at the Cannes Film Festival, which gets underway 24 hours earlier with the premiere of Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom." Sony Pictures Classics have the rights, and while they haven't yet set a release date for the film, will likely put it out towards the end of the year to maximize awards buzz, and to cash in on Cotillard's appearance in blockbuster "The Dark Knight Rises." Watch the (mildly NSFW) trailer below.