Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Foxcatcher Review

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Director: Bennett Miller
Cast: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller
Running Time: 134 minutes
Rating: 15

Foxcatcher follows the US wrestling team's road to the Olympic Games and tells the story of the bizarre union between billionaire heir philanthropist and published author John Du Pont and US wrestling brothers Mark and David Schultz. While the relationship between John Du Pont and David Schultz made headlines in the US in 1996, the film focuses on the untold bond between Dave's younger brother Mark (Channing Tatum) and Du Pont.

The beginning of the film sets, despite their gold medal wins in wrestling a the 1984 Olympics, a tone of simplicity. Mark is a married man with children working and protective of his isolated and socially awkward younger brother Dave. That is until Dave receives a phone call from Mr Du Pont asking him to meet, to discuss their passion for sportsmanship, championships and American patriotism. Du Pont generously offers to sponsor the team and Dave, with seemingly nothing to lose, accepts.

Their relationship goes from being one between a professional wrestler and his sponsor to one without boundaries, as Du Pont nestles his way into Daves life and introduces him to alcohol and drugs causing him to stray from his goal of being a champion. While Du Pont is introduces in Foxcatcher with a long list of his heritage and achievements, the unravelling of Du Pont and his truly pathetic being is what makes Foxcather such a magnificent piece of cinema. It is excruciating to watch what can only be defined as the lonely and pathetic men come together as complete misfits only separated by wealth.

Foxcatcher is silent and delicate - every bite, crunchy step in the snow and breath takes centre stage and brings forward the pain in the incredibly flawed main characters. With the lack of actions and dialogue, Foxcatcher instead turns into an incredible character study of Du Pont. And rightfully so, as his mental illness is dismissed and suggestions are made that he is simply eccentric, a perk of being a wealthy man, until it is too late to identify how truly toxic he is.

Tatum and Carell are receiving a lot of attention for deviating from their usual comedies, but just when you think that Tatum and Carell have taken such huge steps from their usual characters and that their performances are enough to carry the film, Ruffalo swoops in with a part which increases as the story develops. He becomes David Schultz with great performance that has extremities, what with his make-over and the subtleties of his speech. Both Tatum and Ruffalo make an impeccable transformation into wrestlers, with faces and bodies clearly showing their profession, a profession instilled in everything from the way they walk and carry themselves.

Foxcatcher is an intricate story about masculinity, brotherhood, success and exclusion and may be the closest thing to perfection hitting cinemas this month.

Foxcatcher is released 9th January. 

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