Film Review: FOXCATCHER

FOXCATCHER
Directed by Bennett Miller
Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave

FOXCATCHER tells the story of the relationship between John duPont (Carell) and two brothers, Dave and Mark Schultz (Tatum and Ruffalo), who he sees as the backbone of a dominant wrestling team for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. His hope for success in this endeavor is mostly based on his ability to provide a top-notch facility for wrestling and in paying the athletes to use it. He has no skills as a trainer or a wrestler although he believes himself to be a leader of men. He drags them all out to his estate in Pennsylvania, but his interest in them is sporadic and strange.

On his part, Tatum wants the validation and the mentorship this arrangement gives him, and Ruffalo eventually comes along too. For du Pont success in winning the gold will hopefully prove his mettle to his peers and, even more, to his mother (Redgrave).

It all ends badly, of course, as this sort of project is wont to do.
This is a well-directed, well-acted, and beautifully filmed movie that left me cold. Too much time was spent on looking at the landscape and watching men go silently about their business. I have to say I am in the minority in this opinion among the friends and family who have seen this. It is certainly an original film so I would be hesitant to dismiss it.

Patti Abbott

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