Rust & Bone named best film at London Film Festival awards
Story by Jack Foley
JACQUES Audiard’s Rust & Bone has been named best film at this year’s London Film Festival awards.
The film, which follows the unlikely relationship between a disabled former whale trainer (played by Marion Cotillard) and a bare-knuckle boxer (Matthias Schoenaerts), was praised by jury president Sir David Hare for its “heart, violence and love”.
Schoenaerts collected the prize on behalf of director Audiard.
The win marks the second time that Frenchman Audiard has received the festival’s best film award, having previously been honoured in 2009 for his prison drama A Prophet.
Extending his praise for the film further, Hare said: “Jacques Audiard has a unique handwriting, made up of music, montage, writing, photography, sound, visual design and acting.
“He is one of only a very small handful of film-makers in the world who has mastered, and can integrate, every element of the process to one purpose: making, in Rust & Bone, a film full of heart, violence and love.”
Three further prizes were held at the British Film Institute event, which was held at Banqueting House in central London on Saturday night (October 20, 2012).
Sally El Hosaini, director and screenwriter of My Brother The Devil, was named best British newcomer in recognition of her London-set family drama.
Jury president David Heyman said: “Sally El Hosaini’s writing and direction displayed a remarkable maturity. The film transcended its genre with lyricism and tenderness and possessed a wonderful emotional truth.”
Benh Zeitlin was presented the Sutherland Award – awarded to the most “original and imaginative feature debut” screened at the festival – for the critically acclaimed Beasts of the Southern Wild.
And Alex Gibney received the best documentary award for Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, a hard-hitting exploration of sexual abuse within the Catholic church.
Commenting on the former, Hannah McGill, President of the jury, said: “We commended Anand Gandhi’s incredibly ambitious Ship of Theseus, for tickling our intellect and showing us rarely-seen facets of Indian life; as well as Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Wadjda, a profound but wickedly funny take on Saudi Arabia’s assault on female autonomy.
“However, one film stood out as most clearly deserving of the top prize recognising innovation and originality: Benh Zeitlin’s daringly vast, richly detailed Beasts of the Southern Wild.
On the latter, meanwhile, Roger Graef, President of the jury, said: “Mea Maxima Culpa was the unanimous choice of the judges. It was a life- changing film that was made with real integrity.
“The use of deaf men for interviews finally telling their story was both very distinctive and respectful. The journalism showed an extraordinary paper trail of events leading right to the Vatican in an incredibly compelling manner. It deeply affected the judges who said ‘it sat in the gut.’.”
The night was also notable for seeing director Tim Burton and his partner, actress Helena Bonham Carter, receive a BFI fellowship in recognition of their work in film.
Bonham Carter told reporters: “It’s good because there’s no jealousy at home. It’s very thoughtful for them to give us both one at the same time.”
Burton received his honour from actor Sir Christopher Lee, while Bonham Carter was presented hers by Sir Trevor Nunn.
British actors Tom Hiddleston, Helen McCrory and Olivia Colman were among the attendees at the awards event.
This year’s London Film Festival ended on Sunday, October 21, with Mike Newell’s Great Expectations.