At least in this writer's eyes, one of the more intriguing Oscar nominations was that of Michael R. Roskam's latest film, "Bullhead," in the Foreign Language Film category. It seems like this branch of the Academy are much bolder when it comes to their nominations. Only a couple of years ago, Giorgos Lanthimos' "Dogtooth" received a nod, but we never would have thought Roskam's less-publicized, brooding character study would receive the same recognition.
The film follows young farmer and all-round muscle Jacky Vanmarsenille as he navigates his way through the Belgian underworld and is forced to confront the demons of his past. The most profound aspect of the film, though, is the performance of Matthias Schoenaerts who shines as the aforementioned 'roided up muscle. Comparisons have been made to Tom Hardy In "Bronson" but it's a fairly different beast as Vanmarsenille is introverted and far less charismatic.
Schoenaerts is definitely one to watch for 2012. He's also got a leading role lined up in Jacques Audiard's highly anticipated "Rust and Bone," which will see him star opposite Marion Cotillard (he's the guy carrying her in those publicized set photos on the beach) so his name is probably one you're going to be hearing a lot more of. "Bullhead," meanwhile, will see a limited release February 12th in Los Angeles, New York and Austin. Full trailer and poster below. [via CinemaBlend]