Rated R 124 minutes 2011

Nominated for an Oscar as best foreign film, this Belgian import about crime in the cattle business lays it on pretty thick with the bull metaphors: the protagonist (Matthias Schoenaerts), a tall and well-muscled cattle farmer, has been injecting himself with testosterone since he was a boy and a local bully beat his genitals to a pulp with a brick (just as his family have been injecting their stock with hormones for years). Some shady dealings with a local meat baron tangle into a noir plot; meanwhile, the neutered hero furtively seeks out the woman (Jeanne Dandoy) he worshiped when they were kids together. Michael R. Roskam, writing and directing his first feature, generates a haunting sense of sexual frustration and moral corruption that carries this along despite the rather murky suspense story. In French and Dutch with subtitles.

Film Credits

Director: Michael Roskam

Producer: Bart Langendonck

Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Jeanne Dandoy, Barbara Sarafian, Tibo Vandenborre, Frank Lammers, Sam Louwyck, Robin Valvekens, Baudoin Wolwertz, Erico Salamone and Philippe Grand'Henry

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