First Look: Channing Tatum, Steve Carell & Mark Ruffalo like never before in 'Foxcatcher'
Both of Bennett Miller's previous films Moneyball and Capote received widespread critical acclaim, and his latest film Foxcatcher, it seems, is headed the same way.
With a whopping 88% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes already (based on reviews by the select few critics who caught it at Cannes), and with an intriguing plot revolving around the factual story of Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum, in a role that he describes as his hardest challenge yet), his brother, an Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler played by Mark Ruffalo, and their relationship with a paranoid schizophrenic millionaire, John du Pont (Steve Carell in what looks like a career defining performance), Foxcatcher looks like its going to be quite an incredible film.
Based on true events, Foxcatcher tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers.
When Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to move on to the du Pont estate and help form a team to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics at his new state-of-the-art training facility, Schultz jumps at the opportunity, hoping to focus on his training and finally step out of the shadow of his revered brother, Dave (Mark Ruffalo). Driven by hidden needs, du Pont sees backing Schultz's bid for Gold and the chance to "coach" a world-class wrestling team as an opportunity to gain the elusive respect of his peers and, more importantly, his disapproving mother (Vanessa Redgrave).
Flattered by the attention and entranced by du Pont's majestic world, Mark comes to see his benefactor as a father figure and grows increasingly dependent on him for approval. Though initially supportive, du Pont's mercurial personality turns and he begins to lure Mark into an unhealthy lifestyle that threatens to undermine his training. Soon du Pont's erratic behaviour and cruel psychological game-play begin to erode the athlete's already shaky self-esteem. Meanwhile du Pont becomes fixated on Dave, who exudes the confidence both he and Mark lack, knowing that these are things even his money cannot buy. Fueled by du Pont's increasing paranoia and alienation from the brothers, the trio is propelled towards a tragedy no one could have foreseen.
Foxcatcher is a rich and moving story of brotherly love, misguided loyalty and the corruption and emotional bankruptcy that can accompany great power and wealth. As with Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller's previous feature films, Capote and Moneyball, he explores large themes in society through his complex character portraits of real people.
Miller's already won Best Director for the film when it premiered at Cannes earlier this year, but the rest of us will have to wait until Winter 2014, to see what all the fuss is about.
Foxcatcher also stars Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave and Anthony Michael Hall, and hits cinemas November 2014.
Are you looking forward to the film?