‘Foxcatcher’ is based on true events surrounding John Du Pont’s ‘Foxcatcher Farm’ in the 1980’s, where he took on the Schultz brothers who were both at the top of the professional wresting game in that time; coming off from winning two gold medals at the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles in the freestyle wrestling, they were both offered an opportunity of a life time. To work with John Du Pont, who was an heir to the Du Pont family fortune; Du Pont was one of the most powerful people in the United States around that time. ‘Foxcatcher’ tells the remarkable and gruesome story of the Schultz’s time at the ‘Foxcatcher Farm’ which took place over a number of years.
Steve Carrell, known more for his comedic roles stars as the spine-chilling John Du Pont and delivers what is his career best performance and not just that, but a career changing performance too. Never again will you see Steve Carrell the same way. Plastered with heavy prosthetics, he is almost recognizable. Steve Carrell’s performance of John Du Pont has to be one of the best of the year and by far the most intriguing too. From the get go, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for his character’s introduction to the screen, and I wasn’t disappointed. Remarkably, the limelight isn’t just on Steve Carrell’s performance as John Du Pont; but Channing Tatum’s supporting role as Mark Schultz is career changing too. Channing Tatum’s only previous serious role was ‘Side Effects’ back in 2013 to which he was over shadowed by his fellow ensemble. Surprised isn’t the word for Channing Tatum’s performance; the word pleased is the word. Watching an actor who’s previous work isn’t to be taken too seriously, he now has that defining moment where he can look back and see the moment that MAY change his career. Already though, he has been cast in future projects including the Coen Brother’s new film and Quentin Tarantino’s new film which are both set to be released in 2015. Is this the start of a new career for Channing Tatum? Let’s hope so.
Directed by Bennett Miller, who doesn’t have a huge back catalogue to go through, ‘Foxcatcher’ being his third feature length film, but already, Bennett Miller boasts an incredible repertoire of feature films including ‘Capote’ & ‘Moneyball’. All completely different in their own right, Bennett Miller reminds Hollywood and us that he is still an exciting director to watch. ‘Foxcatcher’ is directed superbly; throughout, I feel like I am watching a Stanley Kubrick masterpiece throughout, and that is a great thing. Personally, I think it’s massively influenced by Kubrick, especially on his greatest work ‘The Shining’. The chilling score by Rob Simonsen & West Dylan Thordsen electrifies throughout.
I am predicting Oscar’s galore for this picture. I really, really hope it gets some recognition, at least! Foxcatcher is a fantastic start to an already exciting year of film; January has never been so good. Five out of five stars.