WRITTEN BY: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
DIRECTED BY: Bennett Miller
STARRING: Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo
RATING: 4 stars
Champion Olympic wrestling brothers Mark (Channing Tatum) and David Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) join Team Foxcatcher, led by eccentric multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont (Steve Carell) in the lead-up to the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
Money cannot buy you everything but it can certainly help you obtain a lot and hide even more about your true self from the world. It is that frightening idea that Foxcatcher presents in this bizarre true story. The film has taken certain liberties with facts and it tweaks the timeline and details of some relationships to suit its narrative, but its most pivotal scene is quite accurate to what really happened. Foxcatcher is not the Olympic sporting story you might expect. It has a very slow build-up before a terrifyingly disturbing and sad ending that will leave you with so many unanswerable questions.
Carell will blow you away with his performance, which is like nothing we have ever seen him do before. He nails the mannerisms and voice of du Pont. Ruffalo certainly looks the part and gives an honest portrayal of the champion wrestler. Meanwhile, Tatum gives the best performance of his career in this leading role and it is such a shame that he has not had the award attention that his co-stars have enjoyed. Ruffalo and Tatum have excellent brotherly chemistry too.
I cannot say any more about this film without giving away the plot. Like director Bennett Miller's other films, including Moneyball and Capote, Foxcatcher is probably about 30 minutes too long, but the acting makes it worth watching. Unfortunately, this is not the kind of film that will make viewers gain much more of an appreciation or understanding of wrestling.