With Foxcatcher director Bennett Miller crafts an unbelievably intense slow-burning film of athletic obsession, and the cost of the pursuit of glory which boasts three of the best performances of the year.
Based on the completely shocking true life story, Channing Tatum stars as Olympic Wrestling champion Mark Schultz, who comes under the influence of millionaire and paranoid schizophrenic John Eleuthere du Pont (Steve Carell), who would go on to eventually murder his elder brother, Olympic champion Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo).
Foxcatcher is an intense ride from its very opening frame. It’s a tightly wound clock that has been spun so tight that you’re just waiting for it to explode, and the thing winding it are the three incredible performances from its lead cast.
First you have Tatum as Mark Schultz, an isolated and competitive young man who has one simple desire: not to lose. He does not revel in glory, and only seeks to obtain an unbroken record with no losses. While some might consider his performance anti-social, Tatum imbues Schultz with a physicality and concentration of unwavering commitment that he becomes somewhat scary on screen. His commitment to his character is absolutely complete in its intensity, and showcases a clear maturity in Tatum’s acting talents.
Facing off against Tatum is Steve Carrell as Schultz’s benefactor John du Pont in an even scarier performance as a wannabe alpha male who craves the respect and camaraderie that the Schultz brothers have attained. Weak willed, and somewhat pathetic, his only saving grace coming from the vast wealth he commands, Carrell’s du Pont is a man who craves the position of a leader, but fails miserably to obtain it, which leads him to view both of the Schultz brothers as enemies, and leads to his especially antagonistic relationship towards the elder Dave Schultz, played by Mark Ruffalo in a stunning performance as the golden boy, who is brought under du Pont’s antagonistic control by his younger brother.
Foxcatcher is an intense character study of the cost of the pursuit of glory, and contains three performances that will question and challenge audiences.