Bullhead Quick Review
2011, 124 minutes
Rated R for some strong violence, language and sexual content
Bullhead is one of the five Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-nominees and is the feature film debut by Michael R. Roskam. This crime drama centers around the Belgian beef hormone mafia and what happens when Jacky, a haunted, hormone-addicted man, makes a deal with a shady beef trader. The acting is excellent across the board, but Matthias Schoenaerts is the stand-out as Jacky. His looming, hulking screen presence is exactly what the film needs. He acts with very little dialogue which is especially impressive. The script by Roskam helps Schoenaerts by making his character fascinating and three-dimensional. Throughout the film, we get glimpses into Jacky's past, building the character. The story is not wildly different from most other crime movies, but the originality comes from the characters, setting, and the fact that it involves a beef hormone mafia in Belgium. I really look forward to what Roskam has up his sleeve for any subsequent films because this one is brutal, intense, and very original.