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Drafthouse Takes Oscar By the Horns With 'Bullhead'

We noted last week the buzz surrounding “Bullhead,” a moody Belgian noir acquired by the up-and-coming distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse.

And with today’s Academy Awards announcements, that buzz cranked up to full blast: “Bullhead” has snared a Best Foreign Language Film nomination, and Drafthouse Films has copped a distribution coup.

“Bullhead” director Michaël R. Roskam says in a press release that "It feels like going to the world championship!" And Alamo Drafthouse/Drafthouse Films CEO Tim League notes, “Roskam is an incredibly exciting new director. We are so happy that the Academy thinks as highly of him as we do!"

League’s company acquired “Bullhead” after it screened at Drafthouse’s genre film festival, Fantastic Fest. Drafthouse Films describes the film like this:

Domineering cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille (Mattias Schoenaerts in a ferocious breakout performance), constantly pumped on steroids and hormones, initiates a shady deal with a notorious mafioso meat trader. When an investigating federal agent is assassinated and a woman from his traumatic past resurfaces, Jacky must confront his demons and face the far-reaching consequences of his decisions.

You can watch the “Bullhead” trailer below:

The Austin Chroniclenotes “Bullhead” isn’t the only Oscar nom with Central Texas ties: Director Terrence Malick’s locally-lensed “The Tree of Life” picked up multiple nominations, including Best Picture and Directing honors. Individual Best Picture honorees for “The Tree of Life” weren’t specified, and the Chronicle notes why:

The Academy didn’t release the exact names of the producers nominated, but left it at “nominees to be determined”; the Academy limits the number of producers who can accept an award, and The Tree of Life’s page lists 15 different people functioning in roles from producer to co-producer to associate producer to executive producer to co-executive producer and (personal fave) producer: natural history, which surely must refer to the film’s trippy dinosaur sequence.

The Academy Awards take place Sunday, Feb. 26.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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