The greatest Olympic Wrestling Champion brother team joins Team Foxcatcher led by multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul - a union that leads to unlikely circumstances.
When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested.
After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.
Based on true events, Foxcatcher tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers. When Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to move on to the du Pont estate and help form a team to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics at his new state-of-the-art training facility, Schultz jumps at the opportunity, hoping to focus on his training and finally step out of the shadow of his revered brother, Dave (Mark Ruffalo). Driven by hidden needs, du Pont sees backing Schultz's bid for Gold and the chance to "coach" a world-class wrestling team as an opportunity to gain the elusive respect of his peers and, more importantly, his disapproving mother (Vanessa Redgrave). Flattered by the attention and entranced by du Pont's majestic world, Mark comes to see his benefactor as a father figure and grows increasingly ... Written by
Sony Pictures Classics
The first movie to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director, without also being nominated for Best Picture, since the Academy increased the number of Best Picture nominees to more than five in 2009. See more »
When the wrestling team is watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship in his house it is 1987. The Ultimate Fighting Championship didn't air until 1993 and that specific fight didn't air until 1996. See more »
A meticulously crafted if dry study of the American dream.
It's been a long wait. After a year and a half of hype, Foxcatcher is finally among us. This isn't really the type of film that earns such excitement. It's a cold, hard, slow burn, but one that's meticulously crafted. It's a film easier to appreciate than to enjoy. It tells the true story of the relationship between Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz, played by Channing Tatum, his brother and also gold medalist David, played by Mark Ruffalo, and a wealthy entrepreneur investing in their future to become World Champions, Jan Du Pont, played by Steve Carell. For a story of such tragedy and exposure to the world at large, it's surprising that we're only hearing of it now, but the film's weak spots do make it clear why director Bennett Miller needed an extra year to work on it, having been initially anticipated as a 2013 release.
It's clear from the style of Capote and Moneyball that Miller is concerned with capturing raw authenticity with a voyeuristic (and grimly saturated) eye on the characters. It gives Tatum and Carell some of the best artistic environments of their careers for them to play around in. Tatum in particular is impressive unlike what we've seen him in before. In his previous films he's seemed so disengaged but here he has tunnel vision focus, constantly fighting imaginary foes. We're often given shots of him just staring out windows, but he makes them rich with subtext, with both his fulfillment of his ambitions and tedium of his stripped down life. It's a physical role with great sensitivity, showing his selfishness and self-deprecating side.
Although there's a strong bond between the brothers especially with their sport, Ruffalo is the antithesis of Tatum. Where Tatum still seems to struggle when engaging with people, however appropriate for the character, it all comes natural for Ruffalo. It's a very subdued but loose performance. Internalizing a lot of different emotions, frustrations and conflicts that Tatum and Carell have but with a whole heap of charm. He's comfortable in his own skin compared to them. I missed him when he wasn't on screen, but it's unfortunate that during his portion of the film in the last third, events become too jumbled. Especially in its final twenty minutes, which does unfortunately drag the film down for me that it doesn't land on two feet. It does find key moments bubbling under its psychological tension, and you often have to be very patient for them to reveal themselves.
Carell however was a slight disappointment. The most hyped up aspect of the film since we first got excited 18 months ago, it's certainly transformative but the character is too sparse and distant. Granted, this is part of Du Pont, he's a man who doesn't make have a presence when he walks into a room so he has to compensate with money and weapons. He's good, but suffers due to this nature. His character blossoms under Miller's direction and the makeup (his nose looking like the 'eagle' he wants himself nicknamed after), but his strength in his prolonged sinister stares. The film has some very interesting themes to say with him about the American dream and patriotism, ironic as his last name is evidently foreign. It's quietly powerful. Carell is best as a fascinating contradictory poetic figure, rather than a performance.
It's a great film thanks to Miller's methodical approach in setting up the triangle of characters, and the anguish of their motivations. It is cripplingly restrained in every facet, which is good to express the repression that the characters go through; the joylessness of Mark's success, how David's family weigh him down, the way people underestimate Du Pont, and then the ultimate dissatisfaction of the glory they chase. There's a lot to delight from its allegories and the way the relationships develop. However, the way it puts the viewer at an unsettling distance and how dry and somber it is hints that it might not do too well at winning awards, though certainly show up on ballots. I'm sensing that we may find a Carell snub in a stacked category, but Ruffalo is assured. Miller may have to fight for that 5th spot in Director but I wouldn't be surprised to see him there. I'm not eager to watch Foxcatcher again so soon but it's a film that burrows deeply in fraught places.
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