Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
The young Limburg cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille is approached by an unscrupulous veterinarian to make a shady deal with a notorious West-Flemish beef trader. But the assassination of a federal policeman, and an unexpected confrontation with a mysterious secret from his past, set in motion a chain of events with far-reaching consequences.
Michaël R. Roskam’s feature debut may have been nominated for an Oscar but I found its story and portentous atmosphere a little hard to swallow. Matthias Schoenaerts stars as Jacky Vanmarsenille, a young farmer who inadvertently gets caught up in the shady dealings of dodgy beef traders and the hormone mafia whilst being haunted by a childhood tragedy that has left him wounded and emasculated.
Whilst the film should be commended for exploring a rather unique subject matter Roskman’s handling of the contrived and messy plot leaves a lot to be desired. Bullhead is part rural noir and part character study as the film slowly reveals the childhood trauma that has shaped the man Jacky has become. He is a…
I like this film so much I bought it...
I have a pretty high tolerance for violence in films, sometimes I actually enjoy it! There's one scene in Bullhead that went too far for me. Because I want to avoid spoilers I can't say much more than it involves a child and it's graphic not only because of what's shown, but because of what's deliberately not shown. I became physically ill and had to stop the film. I came back and finished the rest after I calmed down a bit, and I ended up enjoying it overall, but I'll never be able to get rid of that one scene.
Bullhead is a tough-to-watch but extremely well done gritty crime drama about a cattle farmer named Jacky who seems destined…
What an outstanding performance by Matthias Schoenaerts. It's a good thing too because he carries the picture. At first I thought it was going to be a gangster type film about the hormone drug trade, but it really is about Jacky Vanmarsenille and how a horrible event in his youth has informed every thing about him. He truly is outstanding as an embarrassed, lonely young man who wants what he thinks he can't have. There is nothing off about Schoenaerts portrayal. Every look, every word is authentic. And this actor can say more with his eyes than most.
The ending of the film, with events unfolding to music that gets louder and louder, reminiscent of I Am Love, is dramatic…
I have to admit that I went into Bullhead unsure what to expect - both content and quality wise. Despite its Oscar nomination, the film carries a ho-hum reputation on Letterboxd and the fact it has never received a release in Australia (cinema or DVD) cemented that fact that perhaps wasn't worth the time.
As it turns out, Bullhead was worth my time. Whilst I can acknowledge the complaints registered against it, its faults are clearly there for all to see, with the film's gripping performance from Schoenaerts, the original world of the "Hormone Mafia" and the atypical sprawling crime drama plot - Bullhead well truly kept me anchored to my…
30 Countries, 30 Days.
Time Period: present, flashbacks 30 years
Theme: No satisfaction in revenge, moments in youth that affect people every day
Style of Subtitle: Thin, sleek font white letters centered at bottom. Occasional dash if two people speaking.
Funniest / Oddest Subtitle: A variety involving balls
What did I learn about the country: The terms Flemish and Walloons.
Coincidental relation to last country I watched: There is a language border
I heard there's an American remake planned: Starring Tom Hardy as Jacky, Directed by Darren Aronofsky.
What a beautifully photographed film. Bullhead is not the movie I selected for this country, but so many people rave about, and I felt compelled to see more…
The Academy Award nominated Bullhead (2012 Best Foreign Language Film - Belgium) is a dramatic thriller masquerading as a crime family/mafia pic that tells the single story of the troubled, bullish character named Jacky Vanmarsenille (Matthias Schoenaerts - Rust and Bone), a brutish pumped-up/juiced-up walking steroid cattle farmer who kindly shares his steroidal growth hormones with his livestock.
Jacky walks a fine line between mere cattleman and shady businessman as he brokers deals with unsavory "family" members who trade in meat. When a federal agent is found murdered in the vicinity (while he was investigating illegal growth hormone use in cattle), Jacky's life and that of his immediate family are put at risk from the mafia -- fearing he'll rat…
An underwhelming yet likeable film with a convoluted story that doesn't quite grip your attention.
I now know much more about the growth hormone/steroids mafia in Belgium. Thank you for making this film. In all seriousness, it was a solid film and one that had a pretty nasty scene in it that was truly disturbing.
The central performance by Matthias Schoenaerts is reminiscent of Tom Hardy in "Bronson". Not a copy, by any means; the motivation and development of the characters are vastly different, though there is an element of isolation to both.
But the balance of the movie feels a bit off. The meat and hormones crime story either doesn't take enough of a back seat to the character drama or isn't potent enough to dominate it. Either of those choices might have given the movie a shot at greatness instead of "really goodness".
Excerpted from my Cinapse review:
"Bullhead is a torturous yet rewarding and elegant exploration of the indivisibility of passion and self-destruction, not just because of the tragedies that will inevitably befall its characters, but how completely dedicated Michael Roskam and company are to the futile optimism that lies at the heart of the tragic experience. Our hunger for the permanently unattainable may inevitably drive us to failure, but true beauty lies in how our fear of failure only keeps us hungrily forging on in search of fulfillment."
"Bullhead" is a dark, convoluted Belgian drama, an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film in 2011, which succeeds almost entirely on the rugged shoulders of Matthias Schoenaerts. His fantastic performance creates a memorable character named Jacky, a muscled loner filled with amorphous rage that spills over in unexpected moments. Jacky is a steroid using cattle rancher who works out an arrangement with some meat-trading Dutch mobsters, only to try and back out when an investigating federal agent is gunned down.
It is this sequence of events forces him to revisit a horrific incident from his childhood 20 years ago, as well as the people who were involved in that pivotal moment of his life. The back-story of Vanmarsenille's anger…
Re-watched this. Damn good.
This a real manly film and a film that will make men reel in pain. The film is nominally about the dark side of the farming industry but its really about men being men and its great stuff.
If Terry Malloy from On The Waterfront had a Flemish-speaking Belgian cousin, he might be Matthias Schoenaerts' Jacky, an enormous beast of a man, whose exterior hides vulnerability and private pain. Schoenaerts gives an amazing performance as he struggles with a childhood trauma that haunts him in adulthood and affects everything he does. When the killing of a policeman, strikes close to home, his life closes in, even as the faint glimmer of a new relationship offers some salvation. A film unashamedly about masculinity and the societal role of men, and what happens when those expectations can't be fulfilled.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- Miller's Crossing
- Army of Shadows
- Boudu Saved from Drowning
Sometimes I get stuck in a rut when it comes to watching films. I either just watch anything that comes…
- The Tree of Life
- Under the Skin
- It's Such a Beautiful Day
- Blue Is the Warmest Color
In my opinion, of course!
And only including films that I've seen.
Hardly in order after the top five.