Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone didn't get an Oscars nod when the nominees were announced Thursday despite garnering critical raves.

Rust and Bone is the story of Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) and Stephanie (Marion Cotillard). Ali, a hard-around-the-edges bouncer, meets Stephanie, a young woman of fluctuating moods who works with killer whales at a Sea World-like venue, after she gets roughed up a bar. He brings the scraped-knee Stephanie home, who, not long after suffers a tragic accident in which she looses both legs from the knee down. The accident prompts Stephanie to call Ali—and there begins the entanglements.

The critics have raved about director Audiard’s first collaboration with Thomas Bidegain since The Prophet. While the film’s set up may seem improbable and all possible avenues for it to take trite, the majority feel as though Audiard’s direction and the magnetic Cotilliard have created a gem. “Jacques Audiard brings such drive to Rust and Bone that you barely hear the whirrings of contrivance,” says The New Yorker. It goes on to dare any viewer to be unsympathetic towards Cotillard, “whose proud and pleading gaze would have made her a star in the silent era, and whose emotional yield is so unstinting that she seems to be acting a nude scene even when she is fully clothed.” The Star Ledger lauds Cotillard for being “clear-eyed and unsentimental as Stephanie.”

It is the physical chemistry between Cotillard and Schoenaerts that delivers Rust and Bone from its potential hokeyness, according to a review on Slate. This is largely in reference to the multiple trysts between boxer Ali and the spirited amputee, Stephanie. Yet, it also refers to the scenes in which Ali is boxing while Stephanie watches from the sidelines, and when Ali lures Stephanie to swim with him in the ocean.

Rust and Bone was both a critical and box office success in France. "I think Stephanie has moved me more than any character I've ever played,” Cotillard told the San Joe Mercury News. “She rediscovers the carnal, sexuality, love. Everything is very positive in the tragedy she faces."

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