It’s tough to tell a story when everybody already knows the ending, and it’s even tougher when you can’t make the story suspenseful throughout it. But when it comes to ‘Foxcatcher’ it’s a bit in-between, this movie is grey and sad all throughout it, there is very little color and it rarely changes tones. Marked by two fantastic performances its tough to see the silver lining in Foxcatcher, John du Pont (Steve Carell) invites Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) to move to his estate and help form a wrestling team for the 1988 Olympics, the reason he does so is because he wants to succeed outside of his brother’s (Mark Ruffalo) shadow.
Right off the bat, Steve Carell is one creepy mother fucker in this movie, he isn’t a bad guy or a villain, he is just straight up unsettling and he plays it perfectly just like his weird nose. The more striking thing in his performance is the level of insane or not insane he tends to balance throughout the whole movie, you feel as though something awful is going to happen and even when it does you’re still a bit shocked. But that’s not all on Carell’s shoulders it’s also a credit to the director (Bennett Miller) to keep him that unusual throughout the movie until its necessary, but just like his past movies (“Money Ball” and “Capote”) it’s up for debate as to the truth of these true stories.
My other favorite performance that I wasn’t expecting to love was Mark Ruffalo, he was given a lot more to do than I was expecting and he becomes a lovable older brother by the end, I truly felt like he just wanted the best for his younger brother who appears to be having a break down away from him, it’s a very well built arc for a character that we don’t get to meet a lot. Channing Tatum on the other hand is almost the opposite; he’s on screen a lot and is really boring, which is surprising because he’s proven himself to hold the screen and be interesting before, but this role certainly takes it down a peg or two.
I wish I could recommend the movie more, but unless you like sad, grey, “true stories” there isn’t much outside of some amazing performances, even when I try and think back to specific places or environment’s I can’t think of any that stand out, sure the ranch is a cool location buts covered in fog and we spend a lot of the movie there in the first place. I enjoyed Money Ball even with all it’s dramatizing of mundane moments, but this feels a step to far in that direction, Carell and Ruffalo are Great but not much else outside of them stands out.