Sunday, December 28, 2014

Foxcatcher (2014)

From the moment I saw a virtually unrecognizable Steve Carell in the trailer, I knew this movie would be interesting as true life crime stories often are.

Channing Tatum, who seems to make a movie a week, stars as Mark Schultz, an Olympic gold medal winning wrestler who is asked to join a training facility run by the eccentric John E. du Pont, heir to the du Pont family fortune.

When wealthy John du Pont (Steve Carell) invites Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) to move to his estate and help form a wrestling team for the 1988 Olympics, Mark sees a way to step out of the shadow of his charismatic brother, Dave (Mark Ruffalo). However, du Pont begins to lead Mark down a dark road, causing the athlete's self-esteem to slip. Meanwhile, du Pont becomes fixated on bringing Dave into the fold, eventually propelling all three toward an unforeseen tragedy.

I have to admit that everything about this film was a revelation. I saw amazing performances out of the three leads (with Carell sure to get an Oscar nod for the risks he took as an actor) and watched a truly dark fable about the corruption of the American dream.

Channing Tatum committed totally to the role which is easily the best in his career. He really showed that he has the chops when he gets such great material. Every important emotion here is portrayed by a look, not a word. It's a coiled spring of a movie. You feel like a snake is ready to strike you when any words are spoken. You feel like you are walking on eggshells the whole time. Anything can happen and you have no way of knowing where the story will take you. That is thrilling in so many ways for a movie fan.

Some may find this a slow moving film but I am not one of the them. I thought using the slow burn and long silences was a great way to tell this story. There are so many times when the long silences speak volumes. I like never truly knowing what the characters are thinking all the time. It's a weird choice for a director to make because stories have to be TOLD. We are trained and viewers to expect everything laid out for us. The truth is that some stories and the crimes attached to them are not so easily explained, even in hindsight.



Mike said...

I had no interest in this movie until I read your review, and I didnt know that was Steve Carell!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

That is a cool thing about the film, you forget it's him at times.