Though “A Separation” appears unbeatable at this point, “Bullhead” offers a much needed close second with a dramatic leading man and a fresh story with deep and thought-provoking material. Dark and gritty, Belgium’s “Bullhead” tells the story of Jacky, a cattle farmer who gets caught up in the middle of a mob deal gone wrong. Despite the familiar tone of this story, the childhood of Jacky helps change the dynamic of the film and gives reason to his steroid-injecting, hot-headed nature and creates a deeper and more meaningful film. Matthias Schoenaerts stuns with his leading performance and reminds of an early Tom Hardy. Though “Bullhead” barely stands a chance at winning the Academy Award, it is my favorite foreign film this year and will be a much welcomed surprise if it does happen to win.

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