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French director Audiard's Rust and Bone wins London Film Festival top prize

media Director Jacques Audiard, Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts attend … Reuters//Neil Hall

French film director Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone was named best picture at the BFI London Film Festival late Saturday. The film stars French Oscar winner Marion Cotillard as a whale-trainer who loses her legs in an accident and Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts as her unlikely lover.

The London festival’s organisers said Rust and Bone (De Rouille et d’Os) was "full of heart, violence and love".

French director Audiard, 60, also won best film at the festival in 2009 for his prison drama A Prophet.

But, although it was nominated, Rust and Bone failed to win the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Cannes 2012

"Jacques Audiard has a unique handwriting, made up of music, montage, writing, photography, sound, visual design and acting," said playwright and director David Hare, the festival's jury president.

"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 and Bone, a film full of heart, violence and love."

The jury also liked:

  • After Lucia, Michel Franco's tale of bullying in a Mexican school;
  • No, Chilean Pablo Larrain’s film, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, about advertising helping end General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship;
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild, a US fantasy set on a Louisiana bayou;
  • Mea Maxima Culpa, Alex Gibney’s documentary about the Catholic sex abuse scandal.

The 12-day festival, which closes on Sunday, has also seen the premiere of Crossfire Hurricane, a documentary about the Rolling Stones' 50 years in rock and roll.

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