Michael R. Roskam
That it most certainly is- as BULLHEAD works simultaneously as a crime thriller/character study thatís unique to the genre. The central premise, of a gang of Flemish cattle ranchers making money off illegal steroids for cattle is in itself something quite different, with the French cops looking to take down this cartel of dealers making a killing off their wildly overgrown cattle. But- thatís not really what BULLHEAD is.
Rather, itís a surprisingly sensitive portrayal of the groupís enforcer- Jacky Vanmarsenille- an overgrown, beast of a man. In the lead, Matthias Schoenaerts is revelatory- with this instantly putting him on the map as one of the brightest new stars in European cinema. Thanks to the growth hormones that he trades in, Jacky has the body of Arnold Schwartzenegger, but the soul of a twelve-year-old boy, thanks to a childhood accident that left him physically, and emotionally devastated- constantly questioning his own masculinity, and severely impacted his relations with the opposite sex. Its here that BULLHEAD really excels, leading to a devastating climax thatís hard to shake.
Most intriguing is a 25-minute short film that Roskam & Schoenaerts worked on several years ago- which is a good watch on it's own. Also included is the trailer and a digital copy .