Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave
Plot: The greatest Olympic Wrestling Champion brother team joins Team Foxcatcher lead by multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul - a union that leads to unlikely circumstances.
My Review and Thoughts:
Easy one of the best films of the year. This is a shining example of film perfection. 2014 felt solid in the realm of acting excellence. Foxcatcher is that acting excellence. It shined above and beyond film. Absolutely amazing. I cannot speak highly enough of this film.
Steve Carell shocked and floored me beyond words. I have never in my life seen such a transformation from comical performer to dramatic Grade A mastery of acting. I am beyond speech in the ultimate clarity of Steve's acting. He brought everything to this part.
Next I must speak about Channing Tatum. He plays beyond words the character of Mark Schultz. He gives so much acting art to this character that it makes me feel the love of cinema all over again. This whole movie makes me feel the love of cinema through its flawless acting and utterly perfect direction.
The whole cast is excellent. The chemistry between each player is mind numbing perfection. Carell and Tatum own each other, play off each other and create something award worthy. I loved this movie. I loved the drama. I loved the underlining tension that slowly builds to showcase the complete story.
The dramatic slow pace of growing tension and ultimate darkness of drugs, mystery and tight tension of underlining -dare I say- somewhat hidden sexuality in Du Pont, through Carell’s portrait of this sad, depressing man. His performance, is something striking and eye opening. This has some of the strongest performances of 2014 and a direction that showcases the art form of filming.
Bennett Miller is a modern director of worthy films that showcase what true cinema is all about. His style of direction is masterpiece worthy. He created one of my favorite films 2005's Capote starring the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman. Foxcatcher is no different in showing the dynamic excellence of Millers mastery at being a true Oscar worthy director.
The story of the true life Du Pont and Shultz tragedy is a brutal crime drama that plays out in many tragic ways. Mark Shultz was a man that was lost and trapped in his older brother’s shadow and seeking some type of guidance or belonging. He was trapped in his own fears and darkness. Du Pont led him on a destructive path of drugs and a spiraling journey of emotions and isolation. The whole ordeal was a cat and mouse explosion of attitudes and Control. Both Tatum and Carell bring to life this unfortunate reality that is sadly a stain to the world of Free Style Wrestling and the sport of Olympics. The legacy of this pioneer family shadowed by the inner truth of its own darkness.
Bennett Miller is a master of creating memorable biography films. From Capote to Money Ball to now Foxcatcher. His talent shines and is able to express a story in all its details and amazing truth. I absolutely loved Foxcatcher. Some of the best performances.
Mark Shultz is an amazing sports icon, a man that holds some of the greatest titles and in 1991 was placed as one of the Guinness Book of World Records for holding one of the most Titles by a single U.S. Wrestler. He like his brother are both extraordinary athletes that are a part of the great sport of real Wrestling. It was a tragic and horrible ordeal that came to be because of Du Pont’s madness. A horrible situation. The movie explores the concept and the inner happenings of a tragic story in sports history.
Equally superb is the writing of the film. E. axe Frye and Dan Futterman wrote a wonderful script and story. Miller was able to transcend the vision on paper to screen. If you ever get a chance buy and read the book Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother's Murder, John du Pont's Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold (2014) written by Mark Shultz. This is an independent book and standalone from the movie. This is the personal account of the story and true life situation by the one who experienced the madness of Du Pont’s unravelling.
The movie is a superb telling of a horrible ordeal. The acting is flawless and each performer, Carell, Tatum and Ruffalo deserves accolades and awards on so many levels. Brilliant direction, story and performances.
Highly recommend this film.