Release Year: 2014
Director: Bennett Miller
Writers: E. Max Frye (screenplay), Dan Futterman (screenplay)
Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller
Rating: Nominated for 5 OScars: Best Director, Best Actor (Steve Carell), Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Best Original Screenplay, Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Nominated for 3 Golden Globes: Best Picture – Drama, Best Actor – Drama (Steve Carell), Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo). Won Best Director at Cannes. Nominated for Palme d’Or.
Dave and Mark Schultz, two U.S. Olympic wrestling champions are wooed by excentric millionaire John E. du Pont to join his training camp Foxcatcher leading up to the 1988 Seoul Olympics. But du Pont’s emotional self-destruction threatens to consume all of them.
Young director Bennett Miller has been to the Oscars and various other Awards ceremonies with all of his three feature films: Capote (2005), Moneyball (2011), and this. Miller certainly has a stylish flair and apparently a preference for biographical stories, but although Foxcatcher has an interesting story and a slowburning intensity, it is ultimately a boring film. It is the film’s three leading men who makes the film worth seeing. Carell (The Way Way Back, 2013) received the most attention as du Pont, almost unrecognisable, both due to great make-up and prosthetics and a tranformative performance. However, Ruffalo (Spotlight, 2015) and Tatum (Jupiter Ascending, 2015) are equally great in the two less showy parts; especially Ruffalo as the elder Schulz brother is scene stealingly good. That being said several scenes simply feel like filler and at the same time, we are not shown enough character development for us to understand why the characters act the way they do. After awhile it becomes frustranting to feel that we only known half of what’s going on, but not in a good way. Recommendable for its acting and likely to please fans of Miller’s previous work.
Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo spent an intense five to six months training wrestling, which took its toll on the actors. During one take, Channing insisted that Ruffalo just “slap the shit out of me and get it over with,” which resulted in Tatum accidentally popping an eardrum. The take is used in the film.
Picture Copyright: Sony