Foxcatcher is a fascinating study of dedication, loneliness and power. In many ways it’s a tonally opposite companion to Whiplash. Sadly, it’s also nowhere near as good.
Fry and Futterman’s script explores the warped psychology of John du Pont, a lonely millionaire who believes he’s entitled to more power and success than he’s earned. Carell is fantastic in the role, bringing an uneasy presence and proving he’s got real acting chops under that false nose.
Tatum and Ruffalo are decent as brothers Mark and Dave Schultz, but their dramatic arcs are left muddled by a script that struggles when changing focus between the creepy du Pont and their sibling rivalry.
Miller has always been a low-key director but here he mistakes extreme restraint for emotional depth. Take away the star names and suddenly Foxcatcher doesn’t have all that much to offer. The result is at least half an hour too long and not entertaining or emotionally engaging enough to justify its hype.
CAST: Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave
DIRECTOR: Bennett Miller
WRITERS: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
SYNOPSIS: Based on the true story of Mark Schultz, an Olympic wrestler whose relationship with sponsor John du Pont and brother Dave Schultz disintegrates into chaos.