Director Bennett Miller creates a dark and tragic story in the highly acclaimed film Foxcatcher. The film, which is based off true events focuses on two brothers Mark (portrayed by Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (portrayed by Mark Ruffalo), who are both world champion wrestlers and are training to fight in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Before training began, Mark was asked to train at multimillionaire John duPont’s (portrayed by Steve Carell) house and configure a winning team before jet setting off to South Korea. Thinking he can finally make a name for himself and make good money, Mark decides to live on duPont’s estate to work and train for the next Olympics. Events take a turn for the worse when DuPont starts to interfere with Mark’s training by enticing him into an unhealthy lifestyle, chaos ensues and tragedy strikes.
The acting in Foxcatcher is brilliant. Steve Carell takes a role completely different than anything he has ever done before. He dips his feet into a serious, beyond creepy role and is now nominated for an Oscar for best actor. He was extremely unnerving and was great at changing his speech patterns and subtle eye movements and gestures to create this vindictive, psychopathic character. Even his makeup was done so wonderfully that he was almost unrecognizable in this rare character choice. Channing Tatum did a superb job as younger brother Mark. He was great as the naïve, self-conscious determined brother that lost his way. Him and Mark Ruffalo trained for months to perfect the physique, mannerisms and walk of a wrestler. Ruffalo, although his role was small, he was great as the confident, older brother Dave. He exuded love, trust and loyalty into his brother and had faith that Mark could be the best. The tragedy that occurs in the film is heart wrenching for the audience knowing the beautiful bond both Mark and Dave share, and Tatum and Ruffalo make their bond incredibly believable as brothers even when they aren’t getting along.
Foxcatcher starts off slow, most of the film is Mark in training and growing a strong yet somewhat questionable bond with DuPont. The film grows further and further into suspense and at some points has the audience at the edge of their seats wondering where the film is going and if they could handle what’s to come. The bond DuPont and Mark create is unsettling to say the least and mostly because of how disturbing Carell is as DuPont. As soon as Mark starts to see that there is something strange occurring he starts to take a step back and acknowledge that maybe everything DuPont is saying is too good to be true and that maybe he has a strange motive behind his antics. Unfortunately he finds out too late and the dark, twisted character shows his true colors one cold January day.
In conclusion, Foxcatcher is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys films based on real stories, great character development and fine acting. Also to anyone who enjoys films with heart, tragedy and the belief that a single emotion such as jealousy can have the power to overcome a person and do unthinkable things.