Foxcatcher | Film Reviews | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly


Riveting character study is a non-sensationalist account of a true story

Pin It
  • Foxcatcher

Even if you remember the bizarre news story that inspired it, Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher is likely to be deeply unsettling. Miller has a masterfulway of keeping us off-balance and uneasy, building a gradual sense of doom, whether we know what's coming or not.

In 1987, three years after wrestling brothers Mark and Dave Schultz both won medals in the Olympics, monosyllabic,unemployed Mark (Channing Tatum) is living on ramen when he's invited to visit weirdo billionaire John E. du Pont (Steve Carell) at his massive Pennsylvania estate, called Foxcatcher. Du Pont, sociallyawkward, fabulously rich but friendless, fancies himself a wrestling coach, and he wants to sponsor Mark and Dave's training. Dave (Mark Ruffalo), the savvier brother, is skeptical, but Mark is all for it.

Thus begins a peculiar, often unnervingly funny bromance, complete with a training montage with a musical score that belongs to a falling-in-love montage. Mark is oblivious, and the film makes no overt references, but it's not hard to see why sexually repressed John might want to hang out with strapping young athletes. Mark becomes his pet Olympic medalist prize to show off at parties.

Du Pont can be dull or outrageous, pathetic or humorous, but Carell plays the man at all times as a real person. He loses himself in the role so well that I quickly got past the weirdness of his familiar voice coming from a face drastically altered by makeup and prosthetics to resemble the real du Pont.

Miller (Capote, Moneyball) keeps a quiet, deliberate pace, moving gently but steadily toward the climax. He lets the characters do what they do without making sport of them. The movie is often funny, yet not a comedy; it's disturbing, but not explicitly horror. It's a riveting character study, a non-sensationalist account of a true story that compels our interest even if we know the ending.


click to enlarge 4.jpg
Rated R · 134 minutes · 2015
Director: Bennett Miller
Producer: Megan Ellison, Bennett Miller, Jon Kilik, Anthony Bregman, Chelsea Barnard, Ron Schmidt, Mark Bakshi, Michael Coleman and Tom Heller
Cast: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, Anthony Hall, Guy Boyd, Dave Bennett, Brett Rice and Daniel Hilt
Pin It

Now Playing

Foxcatcher is not showing in any theaters in the area.

What others are saying

  • Tags:

    More by Eric D. Snider

    Latest in Film Reviews

    • Quirk of Art

      Miranda July's Kajillionaire finds emotion beyond its oddball flourishes.
      • Sep 23, 2020
    • Haunted Mention

      The Nest walks the borders of making family drama into a kind of horror story.
      • Sep 16, 2020
    • From Here to Maternity

      Unpregnant tries to find road-trip comedy in a serious subject.
      • Sep 10, 2020
    • More »

    Readers also liked…

    • A Dream Come True

      After half a lifetime, Savannah Ostler's Twice the Dream becomes reality.
      • Apr 17, 2019
    • Simple Creatures

      The monster movie Sputnik can't deliver the subtext it promises
      • Aug 12, 2020

    © 2020 Salt Lake City Weekly

    Website powered by Foundation