Previously at the ICA - Films
1 Feb 2013 – 7 Feb 2013
★★★★★ A film of insight and boundless sympathy, and one of the most impressive feature debuts in recent memory. - Time Out
★★★★ This thriller about a steroid-boosting farmer lost in the moral maze of Belgium's mafia underworld is a stylish, meaty treat. - The Guardian
Completed before his breakout success as the morally ambiguous drifter in Rust and Bone, Matthias Schoenaerts's performance in this movie emphatically proves it was no one-off, with his portrayal of a young cattle farmer who makes a Faustian pact with the underground meat trade. Writer-director Michaël Roskam's debut feature is an assured, deftly paced piece which begins as a murky if relatively straightforward thriller, then shifts up a gear to become an essay in angst-ridden self-recrimination, and finally climaxes with a meditation on the grip of past behaviour on present fate. Schoenaerts, who had to build 27kg of muscle for the aptly named title role, is entrancing, and the supporting cast—especially Jeroen Perceval as his childhood friend who now deals in illicit hormones—are uniformly impressive.
Dir. Michael R. Roskam, Belgium 2011. French and Dutch with English subtitles, cert TBC