A slow-burning crime drama, Foxcatcher follows the true story of Olympic gold medal-winner Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), who was invited to train for the upcoming Olympics at the estate of an eccentric millionaire by the name of John du Pont (Steve Carell).
Steve Carell, known internationally for his hilarious turns in The Office, Anchorman, and Despicable Me, is almost unrecognizable here as the wealthy and erratic wannabe-wrestling-coach. It is a chilling role which will surely allow Carell to be considered for even more heavy parts in the future.
The film is slow, yet compelling throughout – it plays more like a stage play than a film, full of dramatic speeches, long unmoving scenes, and weighty dialogue. It is fully engaging, despite a whiff of pretentious storytelling.
It’s a wonder to see such talented actors disappear into their roles, weaving together a tale of jealousy, delusion, addiction, and psychotic self-destruction. But though it may be a well-told drama, Foxcatcher will probably be remembered more for Channing Tatum and Steve Carell’s willingness to take on dramatic performances than for it actually being a solid film.
Foxcatcher is rated R for drug use and brief violence.
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© Matt Tory, 2014.