Friday 1 February 2013

"Bullhead" (Metro 01/02/13)

Bullhead (15) 124 mins ***

An Oscar nominee this time last year in the Best Foreign Film category – where it lost to the unstoppable A Separation – this tough, unusual Belgian thriller finally reaches UK cinemas thanks to the presence of Rust and Bone’s bruiser-in-chief Matthias Schoenaerts. He’s playing Jacky, a farmer who rules his region’s cattle market with an iron fist, beefing himself up on the same illegal growth hormones his associates have started pumping into the cows. As the net closes in on the killer of a detective pursuing the hormone-traffickers, a flashback reveals the origins of Jacky’s addiction: one scene is guaranteed to leave even hardened viewers wincing. At two hours, there’s a lot of grunting and knuckle-cracking, but it never lacks for dramatic heft – and Schoenaerts gives an obvious breakthrough turn as the Frankenfarmer, using his bulk to conceal just how damaged Jacky really is.

Bullhead opens in selected cinemas from today.

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