Film Review – Foxcatcher (2014)

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Title – Foxcatcher (2014)

Director – Bennett Miller (Moneyball)

Cast – Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Michael Hall

Plot – Based on the true life story of Olympic wrestling brothers Mark (Tatum) and David Shultz (Ruffalo) and their relationship with wealthy businessman John du Pont (Carell) who wanted nothing more than to make wrestling a sport for the American people.

 “When we fail to honor that which should be honored, it’s a problem. It’s a canary in a coal mine”

Review by Eddie on 15/06/2015

One of the most impressively eerie films of recent times, Foxcatcher is another quality film to be directed by Bennett Miller that may well just be the film that officially leads him to be called the master of the mood piece after the quality Philip Seymour Hoffman starring Capote and the most interesting movie ever filmed about stats Moneyball came before this new slice of true story filmmaking.

The less known about Foxcatcher the better and its clear Bennett wanted his 2 hour plus feature to be an exercise in the slow build and under the skin creepiness that so many films strive for yet fail to reach. Bennett nails the films 80’s set production design and glum mood and upcoming horror filmmakers could strangely take tips from the way Bennett constructs many of his scenes, never has a late night wrestle or an awkward documentarian conversation been so utterly off putting. Foxcatcher’s tone is flawless and tone perfectly suited yet it’s well designed coldness is also its biggest weakness as we sadly never feel overly affiliated with the movies main troupe of actors, despite the work of Steve Carell, Channing Tatum (making up for Magic Mike) and Mark Ruffalo who together produce a stunning 3 pronged acting attack.

Delivering career best turns, Carell and Tatum deserve all the plaudits they received for there on song turns. Carell is quietly menacing and near unrecognisable as real life figure John du Pont, a billionaire, wrestling loving mummy’s boy that has more deep seeded issues than you’d care to imagine and his chemistry with Tatum’s slow yet dedicated Olympian wrestler Mark Shultz produces many of the films strongest scenes. John and Mark’s friendship and comradery take this tale to many dark yet fascinating places and when accompanied by Ruffalo’s assured turn as Mark’s older brother David, Foxcatcher truly soars to some great dramatic heights and the oft unappealing sport of wrestling becomes a thoroughly thrilling back drop to all manner of human conditions, laid out bare on the mats these men compete on.

Foxcatcher will not be for everyone and it’s by no means a flawless film, yet it’s a refreshingly unique and uncompromising poetically licensed telling of a seriously troubling true life tale. With 3 standout acting turns, particularly from the here starkly unfunny Steve Carell and the oft misused Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher is another quality film by Miller that would attest to him being one of the finest dramatic directors working today.

4 late night wrestles out of 5

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17 responses to “Film Review – Foxcatcher (2014)

  1. I loved this film. I agree about its general tone of creepiness, and I have never been impressed with Channing Tatum as an actor until now. I knew absolutely nothing about the real-life people involved, which made it especially brilliant for me. I always advise people who want to watch it to see it without looking up the real story first.

  2. Perhaps that’s the difference, to some extent. I did the slightest bit of research before I saw this, mainly as I had no interest in seeing it in theaters and knew I could rent the DVD, and it may have altered how I saw this. Mind you, I think most of that lies in the pacing of the entire film.

  3. Will have to check this out.. stopped reading your review when you said the less u know the better

  4. The first half of this was a little bit too slow for me but it had such a big payoff that it was worth it. Not one that I think I would watch again though.

  5. Pingback: The Best and Worst of 2015: Eddie’s Take | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

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