Foxcatcher is beginning to pick up steam in an Oscars race that has so far been dominated by strong press for Boyhood and perhaps more curiously, Birdman. Inarritu's avant-garde comedy-drama will almost certainly provide Michael Keaton with his first trip to the Academy Awards for a while, though as a Best Picture contender, it has work to do.

FoxcatcherSteve Carell [L] and Channing Tatum [R] in Foxcatcher

Foxcatcher will be nominated for Best Picture - and its director Bennett Miller has been here before. Baseball drama Moneyball was up for the top gong in 2012, as was Capote in 2006. Based on a true story, Miller's film tells the story of John DuPont (Steve Carell), the wealthy benefactor to two Olympic wrestlers (Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo).

More: Foxcatcher at Cannes: Steve Carell was first choice for obsessive wrestling coach [pictures]

"When you get hooked onto something like the notion of 'Foxcatcher,' for me, there is a very strong, specific feeling about the soul of this film, in the same way you might know a person or that you might know a film that exists, to have that sense of WHAT IT IS," Miller told the Associated Press. "But it's still not a material thing yet, and how to realize that thing, how that soul gets incarnated is the process. It's like, 'I had a glimpse of Big Foot, and now let's go track him.'"

Mark Ruffalo Channing TatumChanning Tatum [L] and Mark Ruffalo [R] in Foxcatcher

It's been a long road to getting Foxcatcher to the big screen. Miller has spent almost seven years working on the movie and had to get through a lawsuit with the original production company and several attempts to shut down filming.

More: Steve Carell is unrecognizable in Foxcatcher [Trailer + Pictures]

"I love that kind of pain," he said, stoically, "I really feel in my element in the edit. It can be excruciating, but it's the most rewarding. That's when it really comes alive. For better or for worse, it's my nature to be in that room, toiling."

"Rarely has a film so chilly felt so richly drawn. Bennett Miller's decidedly remote true-life story is a brilliantly acted, fiercely American tragedy," said Joanna Langfield of The Movie Minute.

Foxcatcher opens in theaters in the U.S. on Friday (November 14, 2014).

Watch a clip from Foxcatcher: