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Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2017: #27. Michael Roskam’s The Racer and the Jailbird

The Racer and the Jailbird

Director: Michael R. Roskam
Writer: Thomas Bidegain, Noe Debre, Michael R. Roskam

Breaking out in 2011 in the Panorama section at the Berlin International Film Festival with his debut Bullhead (which also made a star out of Matthias Schoenaerts), Belgian director Michael R. Roskam followed up with his English language debut The Drop (2014), which starred Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and was one of the final films to feature James Gandolfini. He returns to Brussels for his third feature, The Racer and the Jailbird (which has a sort of Claude Sautet sort of ring to it), penned by the popular screenwriter Thomas Bidegain (who retooled The Searchers with his lauded debut Les Cowboys) and details the troubled romance between a gangster and his love interest, an up-and-coming racecar driver. Featuring his muse Schoenaerts and Adele Excharopoulos (who has yet to be featured in something of note since her breakout in Blue is the Warmest Color), this promises to be another simmering crime drama with strong psychological components from Roskam.

Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Adele Excharopoulos, Sam Louwcyk

Production Co./Producer(s): Savage Film, Stone Angels, Wallimage.

U.S. Distributor: Rights available.

Release Date: With Bullhead premiering out of Berlin and The Drop squeaking through Toronto barely a week before its theatrical release, The Racer and the Jailbird is currently in post-production, so Berlin could be on the docket unless producers have high hopes of nudging this into Cannes.

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Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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