Rod Sedgwick’s review published on Letterboxd:
I suppose being 5 years on from a somewhat controversial win has afforded me the ability to watch this film on its own merit without unnecessary hype, and in that sense I’m glad, because I found this to be a really powerful and well-executed drama.
Whilst Un Prophet remains his best film, (which most will concur) I found his follow up Rust and Bone to be a very interesting film in its own right. One thing for sure is that Audiard is a masterful director of performances, and the main roles in Dheepan are quite something to behold.
“The immigrant experience” is one that has been covered pretty well in cinema over the decades, but this one feels somewhat fresh and successfully touches on social, political and familial aspects without being overwhelmed by any one thread.
I appreciated the slow build, whilst we see our Sri Lankan family grow both together and apart over the film’s runtime, all the while being greeted with an explosive 3rd act where the character Dheepan explodes and draws on his psychological torment to protect his newly formed family. Many seemed to critique the tonal shift negatively, but I personally found it to be earned based on what we’d been presented throughout the dramatic arc, particularity the opening scene.
I’m keen to see some more Audiard that I’ve missed over the years...