Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Foxcatcher (2014)

Director: Bennett Miller
Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Michael Hall, Guy Boyd, Brett Rice

Olympic wrestling champion Mark Schultz (Tatum) lives in the shadow of his equally honoured older brother Dave (Ruffalo), who's living a content life with his family. When Mark is called upon by eccentric billionaire John E. du Pont (Carell), he is offered a position to help coach and train on du Pont's wrestling team, called Team Foxcatcher.

Fascinating performances, sumptuous cinematography from Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty, Let Me In) and a dark atmosphere are the major assets of this film built around the real life events of the Foxcatcher wrestling team and the tragedy that came out of it. With a dark undertone and a feeling of tragedy always in sight, it's a pity that there's no explanation of anything and Tatum plays Mark as such a hard nut it's hard to get inside his head.

Carell is almost unrecognisable in an amazing performance, equally matched by Ruffalo as the everyman Dave. Redgrave has a limited role as du Pont's mother who have a strained relationship. It's more a companion piece to Miller's Oscar-winning Capote - writer Futterman collaborates once again - but doesn't have the same insight and doesn't entirely succeed in bringing such complicated characters to the big screen.


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