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Foxcatcher (2014) - IMDbReview

Foxcatcher (Drama, Biography) [Based on True Story] (2014)


Director: Bennett Miller

Writer: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman

Stars: Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller

Having built several facilities to privately train Olympic athletes in fields such as wrestling, an eccentric multi-millionaire invites acclaimed amateur wrestlers to train for the Olympic Games. Tensions gradually rise, and the ideal facilities become a place of undue turmoil.

With a mournful look at Team Foxcatcher and its owner, John E. du Pont, "Foxcatcher" is Miller's third biographical film with a disparate tone compared to 2011's "Moneyball". Showcasing the peak and deterioration of Du Pont's wrestling team and, with that, his mental state, growing more delusional every scene. It was produced by Annapurna Pictures and Likely Story while being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics in North America and Annapurna International around the globe.

Ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is approached by telephone, requesting his presence at the behest of John E. du Pont (Steve Carell). As heir to prominent family fortunes, including large hectares of land, he's built athletic facilities, chiefly a wrestling gym, to form a private team. Trying to convince Mark's brother, the renowned Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), forms tensions. The facility proving too good to be true, leading to unbelievable pressure and fatal circumstances.

Re-telling the daunting tale of the incident where an Olympic wrestler got murdered by John E. Du Pont. This feature provides a bleak yet captivatingly accurate crime biography around amateur wrestling.

Mark Schultz 'Foxcatcher' Subject Lashes Out at Director BennettThrough the dedicated career of Mark Schultz, "Foxcatcher" uses the brothers Mark and Dave to highlight an immense tragedy in amateur wrestling. Pictured as polar opposites, Mark set in his ways, striving to earn his merit, feeling overshadowed by his elder brother, who can be described as unfettered, focusing on his family with what seems like an ocean of stillness around him. Through hard-pressed performances, Miller's recreation of the Du Pont incident poses an austere, depressing story made more so by the languid tones and emotionally muted acting.

Dragging you into an intense biography is the transformative showing by Steve Carell; in addition to a performative metamorphosis in Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, "Foxcatcher" manages to anchor a specific tone within mere moments. With an imposing atmosphere and the history known, what could've been a diluted biography is quite effectively handled by Miller. It's still possible to criticise truths such as Du Pont's mental state overall or hints of a hidden sexual offence, which was never an actual fact provided. Taking the untold segments of this true crime feature and simply appreciating the depictions by Carell, Ruffalo and Tatum, with the latter going from admiration to disgust of Team Foxcatcher's founder, forming an interesting dichotomy as moods shift.

Foxcatcher – 2014 Bennett Miller - The Cinema ArchivesThe commendable Bennet Miller provides excellent vision, vital to well-paced writing, even if it is measured by unavoidable and astounding acting. "Foxcatcher" is truly transformative in many ways, with a depressingly strained development only becoming tenser scene by scene. Misconstrued angles, neglected facts, and story adjustments can be overlooked due to the impeccable cinematography and talent throughout. "Foxcatcher" remains an immensely engaging biography vital for those interested in sports, true crime and American history.


"Foxcatcher" has a tight hold on the sports biography genre.