At the 2012 Oscars, much of the buzz in Canada was about Monsieur Lazhar, the French-Canadian film nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. This attention was, of course, well deserved, but may have taken attention away from some of the other nominees. One such nominee that may have slipped under your radar is Bullhead, a Belgian movie directed by Michael R. Roskam.
Starring Matthias Schoenaerts, who gained over 50 pounds of muscle to play Jacky Vanmarsenille, Bullhead follows Jacky and his family as they raise cattle on their farm, while taking part in the illegal animal growth-hormone trade. While Jacky and his family are injecting their cattle with illegal steroids, Jacky is simultaneously becoming more and more dependent on testosterone injections and steroids.
After a police officer investigating the trade of these hormones is murdered, police start to close in on Jacky’s family farm. While Bullhead initially feels like a gritty crime drama, it slowly allows viewers a glimpse into the really intriguing element of Bullhead: Jacky himself. After suffering a traumatic beating as a child, Jacky has suffered the after-effects for the remainder of his life. Distancing himself from society, he has simultaneously tracked down all of the people who participated in his abuse decades before, looking for revenge.
Despite all of Jacky’s best efforts, the walls eventually close in on him, as the police get closer to discovering his family business. The movie slowly becomes more menacing and claustrophobic, to the point where it is hard to notice how tense the atmosphere is until the movie is over. Bullhead is the kind of film that manages to envelop you, drawing the viewer into its world with force.
Bullhead is screening on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 9:30pm, check the Inside Out website for more details.
Latest posts by Stephanie Hubbard (see all)
- From Deep Throat to Antichrist: where porn ends and mainstream begins – July 2, 2012
- Review: Ages and Stages: The Story of the Meligrove Band – NXNE 2012 – June 14, 2012
- At Home Film Festival: out-there music documentaries – June 7, 2012