Rundskop nominated for Oscar
For the first time in 11 years, a Belgian film has been nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Foreign Language Film. Rundskop (Bullhead), the first feature film by Flemish writer/director Michaël Roskam, garnered the nomination, after already winning about 20 awards worldwide.
The film making it to the final list of five nominees has been foreshadowed in recent months. Last autumn, Roskam was given the New Authors Audience Award and lead actor Matthias Schoenaerts the Acting Award at the American Film Institute Festival in Los Angeles. Influential industry publication Variety named Roskam one of 10 directors to watch in 2012, while last month’s Palm Springs Film Festival – considered a forecast for Oscar nominations – handed Schoenaerts the FIPRESCI Award for Best Actor.
“It feels a bit like we are representing our country in a world championship,” said an elated Roskam on the day of the announcement last week. “Except not with such cool jerseys like cyclists.” (No doubt Roskam will wear a suit when he attends the live ceremony on 26 February in Hollywood.)
Rundskop is a dark and grisly drama starring Schoenaerts as a Limburg farmer involved in hormone trafficking who is himself, ironically, addicted to hormones. As his cattle grow larger, so does he, and much was made when the film was released of the 34-year-old actor’s extreme physical transformation. His performance has been likened to Robert De Niro’s Raging Bull, and the Palm Springs jury called it a “superb portrayal of an innocent and sensitive man trapped in a truculent body”.