Foxcatcher (2014) Film Review

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Broken men, oh so many broken men. Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is an Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler, following in the footsteps of his older brother and now coach, David (Mark Ruffalo). Then along comes John du Pont (Steve Carell) a very rich man trying to break free from his disapproving mother Jean du Pont (Vanessa Redgrave) whilst still living in her shadow. He has a passion for wrestling and convinces Mark to come and live and train at his facility. But there is darkness, so much understated but deep darkness and things are bound to end tragically.

It’s a slow movie that underplays key events to the point that if you were to be distracted, you could almost miss important moments. I still haven’t decided what my opinion is about it – certainly, it is a well constructed story, and the lack of soundtrack during most (if not all) of the film works beautifully. But I found the acting, certainly from the three main actors, really stilted and forced. It was almost as if each had several physical characteristics that they had been told to focus on and this drove their performances. Once I got used to this, it was okay, but it took a while.

Foxcatcher was nominated for Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Steve Carell), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Mark Ruffalo), Best Achievement in Directing (Bennett Miller), Best Writing, Original Screenplay (E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman) and Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling. It was also nominated for Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (Steve Carell), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Mark Ruffalo) and BAFTAs for Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo) and Best Supporting Actor (Steve Carell).

 

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Filed under Film Reviews, Oscar nominated film

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