U.S. Olympic wrestling champions and brothers Mark Schultz and Dave Schultz join "Team Foxcatcher", led by eccentric multi-millionaire John du Pont, as they train for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, but John's self-destructive behavior threatens to consume them all.
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 poverty striken situation Olympic caliber athletes like he and 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). Trapped in du Pont's majestic but suffocating world, Mark comes to see his benefactor as an ...Written by
Sony Pictures Classics
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 »
[Mark gives a speech to a school of young students]
Hello. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to you today. My name is Mark Schultz. I wanna talk about America, and I wanna tell you why I wrestle.
[Mark holds up his Olympic gold metal to the kids]
This is an Olympic gold metal. I won this three years ago at the 23rd Olympic games in Los Angeles, California. This is more than just some piece of metal. It's about what the metal represents. The virtues it requires to attain...
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Slow-burning, cerebral character study - not for those with a short attention span
FOXCATCHER is a film that is easier to admire than to love, and I mean that in the best way possible. While the slow and deliberate pacing will put a lot of people off, its disturbing subject matter, psychological depth and outstanding performances make it fascinating, if not riveting. For those unaware of what the story is about (like I was), the film mostly revolves around Mark and David Schultz, two Olympic gold medal-winning wrestlers who become involved with eccentric millionaire (billionaire?) John Du Pont, specifically in preparation for the 1988 World Championship and Seoul Olympics. But wrestling is just the conduit for a deep character study of people who looked to overcome personal weakness by achieving greatness. It's really hard to say who gives the best performance out of the three leads because all of them do so well. Mark Ruffalo (who plays Dave Schultz) usually does well, and this is no exception. Steve Carell was barely recognizable as the eccentric Du Pont, greatly aided by prosthetics in his physical transformation, but also quite different in the way he spoke and carried himself compared with what roles he usually plays. I suppose the biggest surprise of them all is Channing Tatum (playing Mark Schultz) who manages to hold his own against these other two acting greats. Although he didn't have a whole lot of dialogue (and really, the film as a whole doesn't), the physicality he brought to the role was incredible in its own right. As for the wrestling scenes, they were shot well, if unspectacular. Basically they did what they needed to do for the narrative, i.e., serve as guideposts so that one didn't get lost in the pacing (and also because they were factual). What interested me the most, though, was the curious relationship that develops between John Du Pont and Mark Schultz. Du Pont takes Mark under his wing, provides him with living quarters, a training facility, and pays him, yet his status as the team coach (and quite a rich one at that) makes it where the relationship is rather one-sided. In real life, John Du Pont was the black sheep of his family and a very lonely man, and taking on Mark Schultz was a way for him to indulge in his interests and to have a friend. Now, as interesting as I find true crime, there usually has to be some stylistic choice or a scene or two which get to me in an emotional way, and this film has that as well. Both of these scenes are dialogue-free and are scored using Arvo Part's "Fur Alina," a hauntingly minimal piano piece which I recently discovered. To me, these scenes (which I won't spoil) perfectly capture the film's melancholy tone. And in general, the score is rather tasteful. Often, the sound design will completely take a back seat and certain scenes will play out free of dialogue with a sort of humming that brings a subtle intensity and a growing sense of dread. Overall, FOXCATCHER is an excellent, dark character study that features some great performances and an ending that will shock you even if you see it coming. Highly recommended, as long you have a good attention span.
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