Foxcatcher

The story of how inheritor of the Du Pont fortune John Du Pont made Foxcatcher the official home of the U.S.A wrestling team, headed by the famous Shultz brothers. We watch as the relationship between these three people takes the story in interesting directions.

Similar to The Theory of Everything in that primarily Foxcatcher is a performance piece. With Steve Carell in a trasformatory role as John Du Pont, whom he portrays as this extremely creepy, socially inept but massively ambitious multi-billionaire. And fairly rightly Carell will steal all the headlines due mostly, I think, to the fact that this is so far from what he usually does. However I think that actually Channing Tatum and in particular Mark Ruffalo give the real show stealing performances, because while Carell gets to essentially turn his performance up to 11 with the odd speech patterns and overtly strange and creepy lack in self-awareness, it is Ruffalo and Tatum we as the audience actually relate to and care about, and you watch the film for them. I actually think Mark Ruffalo steals the film to be honest, he is absolutely sensational.

As a film, it is less spectacular than the performances. It is sold as a thriller which will have you on the edge of your seat, it won’t. That isn’t to say that the interplay between the three main characters isn’t compelling or interesting, I just wouldn’t call I thrilling. It’s actually fairly dull for the first forty minutes, although it does pick up after that point. I also feel like this is a film about three people and three people only. As in American Sniper Foxcatcher is responsible for the criminal underuse of Sienna Miller, who although is only in it terribly briefly is still rather good. Exactly the same can be said of Vanessa Redgrave, who may only actually speak in one scene. The scenery and colour scheme are at times quite beautiful, and the soundtrack (while by no means standout) is effective in contribution to the general mood of the movie.

Overall, this is a decent film, with three absolutely brilliant performances. And I can completely see why it wasn’t nominated for a best picture Oscar. What I cannot see however is why Bennett Miller received a best director nomination ahead of Ava DuVernay for Selma. Selma is the better movie, and it’s better directed. But, this is definitely worth a watch, Mark Ruffalo alone would make this a good film.

7/10

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