‘Foxcatcher’ Wows at Cannes

Foxcatcher new clip and trailer
Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in 'Foxcatcher' (Photo Sony Pictures Classics)

Foxcatcher was pushed back from an awards run in 2013 to 2014, leading – of course – to speculation that the film had problems. But those rumors and speculations were put to rest after a successful screening at the Cannes Film Festival. Variety had high praise for the movie, calling it “insidiously gripping” and saying Channing Tatum gives “what is easily the most emotionally complex performance of his career.” They don’t stop there with their praise, saying Steve Carell does “subtly mesmerizing work” that’s Oscar-worthy and Mark Ruffalo’s wonderful in the film.

The Hollywood Reporter also believes Foxcatcher is going to earn Oscar attention. Labeling Carell “astonishing,” THR said his co-stars are also superb in this dramatic film based on true events. While Carell, according to the advance reviews, is a lock for a Oscar nomination, Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan hopes voters don’t overlook Tatum’s performance. “There had already been a lot of buzz on Carell’s performance before Foxcatcher hit the Croisette, and rightly so,” said Buchanan. “But it wasn’t clear until today just how throughly integral Tatum is to the film, and how much of himself Tatum pours into his role: When upset, the miserable Mark has an inclination for self-harm — he’ll punch his own face over and over, or smash a mirror with his forehead — and Tatum is so committed to those scenes that he left the audience fearful not just for Mark’s well-being, but for his own.”

Following the screening and the increased buzz about the film, Sony Pictures Classics released the first clip and teaser trailer for the November 14, 2014 release. Directed by Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball), Foxcatcher also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller and Anthony Michael Hall.

The Plot:

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 (Tatum) is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (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 (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 (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 behavior 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.

By Rebecca Murray

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