An Oscar for Wallimage/Bruxellimage?

  • 24.02.2012

Even more than in Paris, the marital drama A Separation is pointed out as the great favorite in this category which is called here “best foreign language film”. But the astonishing breakthrough in the American media by Bullhead is of serious concern to the Iranian clan. It must be said that the campaign led by the Belgian producers, and then by the American distributors of Tête de Bœuf is genius: participation in targeted festivals that crowned the film, early theatrical release to try to influence voters and, in the end, a simply dithyrambic reception from the press. An example (among others)? See the L.A. Times, which has a more than enthusiastic review.

“Bullhead,” it reads, “is an intense, shattering film, a confident and accomplished, punch-in-the-gut debut by Belgian writer-director Michael R. Roskam that starts out like a thriller and turns into a disturbing tragedy in an unlikely and unexpected key.”

The 84th Academy Awards ceremony will take place this Sunday, February 26, in L.A., 7:30 p.m. local time. So we’ll have to stay up late to find out if the 5,800 members of the Academy of Motion Pictures, drawn from every profession in the Hollywood movie world, have voted for a hormone-fueled beef rather than a couple that’s tearing each other apart.

In order not to fight against sleep alone, Flagey proposes on Sunday a prestigious Oscar Night with animations, a concert and of course a live broadcast of the ceremony on a big screen. In everyone’s mind, this nagging question: Will Rundskop be the first Belgian film to win an Oscar?

In any case, he is only the 6th to compete on the evening of the awards ceremony. His glorious predecessors are called Peace on the fields by Jacques Boigelot (1970), The music master by Gérard Corbiau (1988); Daens by Stijn Coninx (1992); Farinelli by Gérard Corbiau again (1994) and Iedereen beroemd by Dominique Deruddere in 2000.

In any case, the story of Rundskop is amazing. Who would have imagined that this very dark little drama, which tiptoed in January 2011, would be nominated for an Oscar one year later? In the meantime, it has been seen by almost half a million Belgians, has dominated the Vlaamse Filmprijzen, has won four Magritte awards, has won prizes at various festivals around the world, has already been released in the United States and France to critical acclaim, and has made Matthias Schoenaerts an international star and Michael R. Roskam one of the most anticipated directors of the decade….

This wonderful story could end in a climax on Sunday in Hollywood, where legends are born…