Plot: Charlie (Joaquin Phoenix) and Eli Sisters (John C. Reilly) are hitmen and their newest task is to kill prospector Hermann Warm (Riz Ahmed) who stole from their employer The Commodore (Rutger Hauer). Tracking Warm is private investigator John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is supposed to hand Warm over to the Sisters brothers. But when Morris starts doubting Warm’s guilt, he teams up with him instead. Meanwhile the Sisters brothers are plagued by bad luck, Charlie’s drinking and Eli’s misgivings about their profession.
I’m not much of a Western fan (a few exceptions notwithstanding), but time and again I get roped into them. In this case, it was the cast that drew me. But the film still didn’t work for me – that’s a resounding meh from my part.
Ali (Matthais Schoenaerts) was just recently put in charge of his son Sam (Armand Vedure). Completely overwhelmed by the situation and having no money at all, he leaves his home and moves in with his sister Anna (Corinne Masiero). There he finds a new job as a bouncer, through which he meets Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) who declines his advances. While Ali moves from job to job, the only constant in his life his passion for boxing, Stéphanie’s life is shattered when she has an accident at the aqua park and loses both her legs. In her desperation, she calls Ali again and the two of them become friends.
Rust and Bone is a beautiful film, both to look at and to experience. It hits all the right notes, and both Ali and Stéphanie are extraordinary, intriguing characters, played to perfection by Schoenaerts and Cotillard.
Malik (Tahar Rahim) is moved from juvie to normal prison. He doesn’t belong to any group (not religious enough for the muslims, too muslim for anybody else), which is why he’s quickly chosen by the Corse prisoners, under the leadership of César (Niels Arestrup), to carry out the assassination of another inmate. Against all odds, Malik succeeds. From then on, he’s under the protection of the Corse prisoners and slowly makes his way up in the prison world.
A Prophet is an excellent movie. The acting as well as the directing are strong in this one, but it remains surprisingly pointless. It’s 150 minutes long, and at the end you feel like saying, “wait, that’s it?”