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Jacques Audiard - 'Rust and Bone'
Pro: For this writer’s money, Audiard is one of the most vital directors at work today, and this change-of-pace romantic melodrama finds him fully in command of his formal gifts – many of his peers should admire the bold visual and sonic storytelling at play here. His previous effort, “A Prophet,” got a foreign-language nod, but couldn’t cross over into the top categories: might it have raised his profile enough for his latest to do so, particularly with Marion Cotillard as a star attraction?
Con: In all honesty, probably not. “Rust and Bone” may have many keen fans, but it didn't galvanize critical opinion at Cannes the way “A Prophet” did, and the film hasn't built the level of buzz required to break that tricky foreign-language ceiling. As was the case on the Croisette, Michael Haneke's “Amour” is its chief obstacle – Sony Pictures Classics is planning a full-scale campaign for the Palme d'Or winner, and Audiard's film is a secondary priority.
- Guy Lodge