- Composed by Alexandre Desplat
- Why Not Productions / 2012 / 89:22 (score 43:00)
Based on Craig Davidson’s short story Rust and Bone, Jacques Audiard’s De Rouille et d’Os received positive attention at Cannes in 2012. The love story stars Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, both of whom have attracted much acclaim for their performances. Audiard’s usual composer Alexandre Desplat wrote the score. His music for this director tends to be pretty sparse, pretty minimal in nature, and De Rouille et d’Os certainly follows suit. It’s so sparse that it can take a little getting used to, but it’s more than worth the effort – the composition might be quite straightforward on a technical level, but as is often the case with Desplat, the web of emotion buried within it is extraordinarily complex, rewarding – in many ways demanding – repeated listening.
There’s a large collection of themes on offer. Bookending the score (43 minutes of which appear on the download album, slightly less on the physical album) is a noble French horn piece, the most direct of Desplat’s themes for the film. The electric guitar theme (heard for instance in “Stéphanie”) is much more ambiguous – there’s an emptiness suggested by the repetition of the short guitar phrase, coldness from the processed strings, yet somehow the piece seems to contain an essence of life, there’s hope in there. There’s great sadness – also beauty – in “L’Orque”. The mesh of strings – plucked as well as bowed – in “Sam” is again suggestive of internal conflict, again so inherently interesting. The accordion in “Le Combattant” brings warmth, optimism. Warmest of all is the straightforward piano theme “Stéphanie et Sam”, its very simplicity making it all the more effective after the complexity of what has gone before. De Rouille et d’Os is an enriching, notably rewarding piece of music; those favouring instant gratification should stay away, those willing to put the effort in to explore the music should certainly seek it out. ****