Foxcatcher

"Excellent"

Foxcatcher Review


Director Bennett Miller continues to skilfully probe around the edges of true stories with this follow-up to Capote and Moneyball, although this is a much, much darker tale. Actually, it's such an unnerving series of events that it's not easy to watch, and its characters aren't easy to like. But it's so expertly shot and edited, with startlingly full-on performances from the entire cast, that it can't help but get under the skin and chill us to the bone.

It opens after the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, where Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and and his big brother David (Mark Ruffalo) both won gold medals for wrestling. But they need help with funding to train for Seoul 1988, and Mark gets a remarkable offer from billionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell) to start a wrestling team at his vast Foxcatcher estate in New England, which is known for the thoroughbred horses managed by John's imperious mother Jean (Vanessa Redgrave). Aside from wanting to stay home with his wife (Sienna Miller) and kids, David doesn't trust John, so Mark heads to Foxcatcher on his own. But John's obsession knows no bounds, and soon he lures David and family to join them.

Initially, John's interest in wrestling feels like a mere eccentricity, a way of creating a team of "thoroughbreds" to rival his mother's prize-winning horses. But Carell cleverly plays the role with an insinuating glint that makes us wonder what he's up to, and his wrestlers see it too, going along with his nutty plans simply because the money is so good. Then the squirm-inducing twists and turns start, as John introduces Mark to cocaine and everything starts to spiral out of control. Nearly unrecognisable with a prosthetic hook nose, Carell is genuinely terrifying because his performance burns so slowly.

Opposite him, both Tatum and Ruffalo are lean and muscly, and intriguingly haunted by their own issues. Both Redgrave and Miller offer steely edges to smaller characters who each have a strong pull on their men. Through it all, Miller and screenwriters E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman cleverly subvert every scene with suggestions that something is deeply wrong here. John's rousing speeches are more than a little disturbing, hinting that this could erupt into psychopathic horror at any moment. But the film remains tight-lipped and contained right to the nasty ending. And by refusing to simplistically explain anything that happens, Miller makes the point that usually a tragedy isn't nearly as easy to explain away as we'd like to think it is.

Foxcatcher Trailer


 

 



Foxcatcher

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 134 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th November 2014

Box Office USA: $4.4M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Production compaines: Annapurna Pictures, Media Rights Capital, Likely Story

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Fresh: 136 Rotten: 22

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Megan Ellison,

Starring: as John du Pont, as Mark Schultz, as David Schultz, as Nancy Schultz, as Jean du Pont, as Jack, Guy Boyd as Henry Beck, as Fred Cole, Jackson Frazer as Alexander Schultz, Samara Lee as Danielle Schultz, Francis J. Murphy III as Wayne Kendall, Jane Mowder as Rosie

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