Matthias Schoenaerts broke through with art house audiences with the Belgian film "Bullhead," nominated earlier this year for an Academy Award for foreign-language film, playing a man still haunted by the traumas of his childhood. In the new "Rust and Bone," he again turns in a muscular, physical performance, but this time as a man more actively working to move forward with his life. Costarring with Marion Cotillard, Schoenaerts has garnered acclaim for his work in the film, including comparisons to Marlon Brando and Michael Fassbender.
"Rust and Bone" is directed by Jacques Audiard, the French filmmaker who has himself been compared to Martin Scorsese and Jean-Pierre Melville for the ways in which his films explore the struggles of modern masculinity. The role in "Rust and Bone" looks to launch Schoenaerts just as earlier Audiard films have boosted the profiles of such actors as Romain Duris and Tahar Rahim.