Foxcatcher: A Review

Foxcatcher is the true story of Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), an Olympic wrestler, who seems to be directionless in his life. He doesn’t seem to have a whole lot going for him except wrestling. Wrestling has been, and perhaps always will be, his life.

When Mark’s life seems to be at it’s bleakest, Mark gets a call from someone representing a man named John Du Pont (Steve Carell), Mark takes the opportunity to meet John at his family mansion and strike a deal to start a wrestling team, along with Mark’s brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), also an Olympic wrestler, but in Mark’s own word’s, “Dave can’t be bought.” John gives him a look, almost incredulous, at least as incredulous as John Du Pont can be.

The two begin to work together at John Du Pont’s estate, recruiting members while Mark stays in a guest home and the two begin to become close, some might say too close, until one day an irrecoverable rift forms between the two and Du Pont’s facade begins to slowly crack and fall away.

A lot has been said about Foxcatcher on various forums, that it’s losing steam, that it’s too off-putting and clinical, that Steve Carell is likely to be snubbed etc, but if anyone is deserving of a nomination this year, I’d say it’s probably Steve Carell. He has the real John E. DuPont down to a tee, from footage that I’ve had to a chance to look at. The prosthetic nose has been talked about but it’s not just prosthesis and make-up that makes this particular performance what it is. It’s his odd vocal pattern, the way he walks and tilts his head, just little quirks that a lesser actor wouldn’t have picked up on, but Carell does. If he doesn’t get a nomination, I have to say, it will be absolute robbery.

Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo both give great performances as well, but this is definitely the Steve Carell show. It’s not even close in my book.

A fascinating tale of madness among “old money”, and the desperation of an Olympic wrestler who wants a better life for himself and to extricate his name from his older brother’s, is both a horrifying and enlightening look into mental illness, loneliness and  ‘The American Dream’. I consider this to be a worthy contender in the Oscar race, one that should be talked about much more than it is right now.
One of my favorites of the year, by far.

8.5/10

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