By Kate Crocker
“Bullhead” wasn’t anything I expected it to be.. Steroids, yes, but Belgium Mafia, cattle farming, and obsessive love? If someone would’ve asked my opinion about this mish mash of a story idea, my reaction would’ve been a healthy spoonful of skepticism. But “Bullhead” earned its Oscar nomination for Best Foreign film with an intense, crime drama that unfolds into a shattering tragedy and character study of the young, steroid riddled, hormone hopped, cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille (Matthias Schoenaerts) who faces his traumatic past after he initiates a deal with a notorious mobster beef trader.
“Bullhead” is writer and director Michael Roskam’s first full length feature film, he makes an impressive introduction, communicating clearly and consistently a story and character that struggle for peace and resolution until the end credits roll. And he does it all in rural Belgium, a quaint, quiet setting that isolates his aggressive central character, and makes his behavior feel more dangerous than the typical tough guy in the big city. The choice feels delicate and it shows. And Roskam took the same careful consideration to subtly divulge information throughout the film. He doesn’t spoon-feed the audience information; instead he creates a compelling pace by divulging information and pushing the story forward, with his main character, Jacky.
And Matthias Schoenaerts has an immediate presence on screen as the quiet, threatening and unpredictable protagonist of the film, Jacky Vanmarsenille. The actor’s breakout performance is subtle yet powerful and feels carefully designed with intense body language and minimal communication, which at times is reduced to mere guttural grunts. This simplistic approach pays off and elevates every scene as the character fights to accept and rehash his tragedy without pandering to the audience for an emotional reaction. It feels genuine. And with a film so heavily character driven, it made the movie and proved Michael Roskam and Matthias Schoenaetrts as serious talents. I can’t wait to see what they both do next, but for now, I hope “Bullhead” comes away with statuette on Oscar night because it definitely has my vote!
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Against the Current - the band, not adventures in dangerous swimming 101
Zedd - If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? (Well, answer my question!)
Arrow (Okay, Felicity from Arrow!)
Chrissy Costanza (cat eyes and buttery lyrics!)
Girls (TV) (Okay, Allison Williams!)
Movies - especially when they play in the dark.
Twin Peaks (TV)
Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
Traveling - preferably where water is, so I can splash someone!
Star Wars trilogy - no, the other one, fella!
Alex G - far more talented than her younger brother Alex H
Cameron Crowe movies - Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous
The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
Reenacting dance/song scenes from "Grease" with my little girl (hey! Wait till you see my 'Summer Lovin'! - don't judge)
Die Hard - 40 stories of Sheer Adventure!
Alex Goot & Friends (his enemies aren't half as talented!)
Cooking up a nice dish and sitting in the entertainment area, on a cool night, basking in it's greatness.
Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.