Main Plot Points:
- Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is struggling in obscurity and poverty in Wisconsin when he is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to move on to his lavish estate to form a team and to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Schultz seizes the opportunity, eager to step out of the shadow of his revered older brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), a prominent wrestling coach and Gold Medal winner himself.
- With his vast resources and state-of-the-art training facility at Foxcatcher Farm, du Pont appoints himself head coach of the team, eager to win the respect of his peers and the approval of his condemning mother (Vanessa Redgrave).
- The dynamic between Schultz and du Pont deepens as Mark embraces his benefactor as a father figure. But du Pont’s mercurial personality and psychological gameplay begins to weigh heavily on Mark’s shaky self-esteem, undermining his abilities on the mat. When du Pont’s favoritism shifts to brother Dave – who possesses the authority and confidence both he and Mark lack – the trio is propelled towards a tragedy no one could have foreseen.
What We Thought:
- Foxcatcher is a well acted drama, just don’t look into the story before seeing the film.
- I knew the story behind the film so I kept waiting for the “surprise” to happen the entire movie. It hurt the film slightly, but it’s still a movie worth seeing.
- It’s good because of the performances. Steve Carell is fantastic in his transformation into John du Pont. The make up and prosthetic nose make Carell almost unrecognizable. Most people only know him for his comedies, but if you’ve seen any of his dramas (Little Miss Sunshine, The Way Way Back), Carell is a really good actor and will get award nominations for this.
- Mark Ruffalo is one of the best actors going today. Sure he could probably do a character like this with his eyes closed, but he’s also great in this. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a wrestling background.
- There’s been talk about Channing Tatum’s “Award Worthy Performance”, but we need to pump the brakes on that. Is it the best performance of his career? Maybe, probably. Is it award worthy? No, not at all. Just because we are used to wooden performances and abs doesn’t mean this performance isn’t more than just another meathead character. It’s a solid character for Tatum that might open some new doors for him, but no, he won’t be winning anything for this.
- If the story wasn’t true, the film would almost play like a dark comedy. Carell seems infatuated with Tatum and winning a gold. He has issues and it clearly shows. But Tatum has his own issues of being in Ruffalo’s shadow and trying to have his own name. Carell gets laughs, but man are they creepy and awkward.
- Foxcatcher is a good movie. I don’t know if it’ll crack my top 10 for the year, but it’s worth seeing. I wish I didn’t know what happened. I think that would have pushed my enjoyment higher. I kept waiting for it and it doesn’t happen to the end, but the performances alone make it a good film.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Mark Ruffalo
- Steve Carell
- Channing Tatum
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