Director: Michael R. Roskam
Stars: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Jeanne Dandoy, Barbara Sarafian, Tibo Vandenborre, Frank Lammers
Before its limited release in early February, the uncompromising Belgian drama Bullhead caught our attention when it was listed amongst the Best Foreign Language Film nominees for this year’s Academy Awards. Ultimately, it lost to the exceptional Iranian domestic drama A Seperation, but that doesn’t mean that director Michael R. Roskam’s movie is slight by any means; in fact, it’s a devastating haymaker to viewers’ guts and brains.
Matthias Schoenaerts, in one of the year’s best performances to date, stars as a diesel cattle farmer who masks his paralyzing insecurities, which stem from a horrific and sexually destructive incident from his childhood, with brute force exhibited in a criminal lifestyle.
It’s the kind of no-holds-barred character study that Robert De Niro would’ve pounced upon in his Raging Bull/Taxi Driver days, complete with, hands down, the most cover-your-eyes, viscerally revolting sequence of 2012 so far. Those who’ve seen Bullhead should know exactly what we’re talking about—trust us, they’re currently grabbing their crotches in sheer revulsion.