Tuesday, January 6, 2015


***1/2 out of ****

In Bennett Miller’s new film, Foxcatcher, a notorious piece of athletic history is told without pretending to have the ability to explain its senseless happenings. It is about the Schultz brothers, played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. They are two Olympian wrestlers sponsored by billionaire John du Pont, played by Steve Carell in heavy makeup portraying a man whose undiagnosed mental illness eventually resulted in an act of murder.

The film moves at an incredibly slow, yet hypnotic pace and may challenge the patience of its audience with characters who display great strength in some areas, but not in verbal communication. The brothers demonstrate a bond that seems to exist outside the realm of dialogue as they train together where Ruffalo seems to show unconditional support while Tatum seems frustrated and resentful. Carell, as du Pont, always recites his dialogue as though he is in a crowded room, giving long awkward pauses between sentences while staring intensely. 

All three performances demonstrate a boldly strong physical and psychological commitment in capturing their real counterparts. There’s rich, yet cold filmmaking on display here. Don’t expect gratification.

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