Two brothers, both former Olympic wrestling champions (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo) become involved in a fateful and fatal friendship with a neurotic millionaire (Steve Carell), in this true-life drama from director Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball) that is already one of the year’s most buzzed-about films.
A mesmerizing hybrid of true crime and
sports drama, Foxcatcher is destined to be
one of the year's most talked-about films. It
tells the fascinating, tragic story of wrestling
champions Mark and Dave Schultz; specifically,
the two brothers' fateful encounter
with multi-millionaire coach John du
Pont. Exemplifying the greatest strengths
of Academy Award-nominated director
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher locates a balance
of excitement and burgeoning dread,
and keeps us firmly in its hold until its harrowing
When we first meet Mark Schultz
(Channing Tatum), he's already on the far
side of his career peak. Since winning the
gold at the 1984 Olympics, his life has been
reduced to a lonesome routine of training,
enlivened only by the occasional speaking
engagement. When Mark is invited by John
du Pont (Steve Carrell) to join the US team
preparing for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, he
asks his brother to take part, but the smarter,
more seasoned Dave (Mark Ruffalo, also
appearing at the Festival in Infinitely Polar
Bear) refuses to uproot his family for the
sake of glories already achieved.
Mark moves to du Pont's sprawling
estate and becomes enveloped in a cocoon
of wealth and eccentricity. Gun-loving,
self-aggrandizing, and fiercely patriotic, du
Pont spoils Mark with gifts and praise, even
while pushing his limits with relentless
training. Dave is eventually coaxed into joining
Mark on "Team Foxcatcher," but there is
something disquieting about du Pont's generosity.
As they near a triumph at the Seoul
Olympics, Mark's pent-up rage threatens to
collide with du Pont's fevered paranoia, and
the combination is disastrous.
The trio of stars play off one another
brilliantly — and Carrell is worthy of special
note, transforming himself into the pale,
soft-spoken, and ominous du Pont.
Benefitting from meticulous detail,
Foxcatcher echoes Miller's previous true-story
films Capote and Moneyball in its
depiction of American ambition and the
cold-blooded pursuit of success.