I’ve been on one of my foreign film kicks lately, and wanted to share a few of them. Because I’m a sharer, after all.
First up, Rundskop, or Bullhead, which was Belgium’s entry for foreign language Oscar last year and one of my very favorite movies of 2011. Now, it’s on Netflix Instant. Matthias Schoenaerts’ performance is incredible — he plays a steroid addicted cattle farmer involved in a seedy underworld and burdened by a horrific past, and he knocks the role out of the park. He is absolutely brilliant. [5/5]
Next is Rust & Bone, a French film from 2012. I watched it for Matthias Schoenaerts, who on top of being a great actor is hot as hellfire, and it also stars the lovely Marion Cotillard. It’s the story of a single father that’s a bit of a bum, and a beautiful orca trainer who suffers an accident and how their relationship develops, and how they help each other grow and learn in more subtle and unconventional ways than most romance films allow. [4/5]
Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within (Tropa de Elite 2: O Inimigo Agora é Outro in Portuguese) is a Brazilian film which was described by a critic as “a cross between The Departed, The Wire, and The Godfather,” and I can’t think of a better way to sum it up, or a better reason for you to watch it. It’s fucking great. It’s a sequel, but the first film is neither required, nor even recommended viewing (I thought it sucked, personally). It’s on Netflix Instant. [5/5]
Last, but not least, is Japanese Samurai period piece, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, the great Takashi Miike’s 3D remake of Masaki Kobayashi’s 1962 film Harakiri (Hara-kiri is the English term for the ritual suicide of cutting one’s stomach open). I won’t tell you anything about either film so that if you’re ignorant of the premise you can stay that way and get your heart ripped out the way you should. This one is available on Netflix Instant as well. [5/5]