Rundskop (Bullhead) – ***

Posted: February 27, 2011 in 2011, Belgium, Drama, Flanders, XXX

Just went to see the most hyped movie of the moment. The media call it the best Flemish movie ever. It will take home the Oscar for best foreign language movie in 2012. Etc… I was very skeptical, but I have to admit that I was really impressed as well. The best movie ever is a bit exaggerated, but I understand why people would call it so. The typical Flemish farmer movie like they produced in the seventies and eighties (based on novels that were set in and around farms) got a complete makeover!

If you watch the trailer you may think it’s all about the growing hormone mafia in the stockbreeding industry. And it partly is. But thankfully it’s not the main theme of the movie. The main theme is about an adult man coming to terms with a terrible childhood trauma. At least for me. As soon as I learned about the childhood incident, I started to get intrigued by the story and never got bored until the end credits.

Not all is perfect though. There is absolutely no resemblance between the children (in the flashbacks) and the adults. Some scenes are pretty implausible. And the director tries to hard to add humor in the movie, which does not work at all. The two comic Walloon car mechanics bring some laughter, but the laughter just doesn’t fit in a very grim story.

But in the end, I am really impressed by this picture. Thanks to the director Michaël Roskam, who can await a bright future. His mis-en-scène was very efficient. And the editors did a great job too. There’s not one scene superfluous or tedious (apart from maybe the funny ones). The colors of the movie are striking. And the acting is quite superb. I’ve never been a fan of Matthias Schoenaerts, but he does a great job here. Gained all those extra pounds to look like a bull. Impressive indeed.

Guys (and girls) around the world: try to catch this movie if you can.

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