Film Review: Foxcatcher

Brother’s Grimm

It’s award season everyone! On the day I am writing this, the Golden Globes is set to descend upon us with the majestic two-hour red carpet special lying in wait along with my pot of coffee and sugar-filled lemonade. Cheers time zones. Of the films listed in the “Best Films” category, Foxcatcher, Selma, and The Theory of Everything, are the only ones I hadn’t seen when the nominations were announced so I decided to catch up when they were released in UK cinemas, starting with Foxcatcher. Foxcatcher brings to life the true story of Jon Du Pont, played by Steve Carell, and his efforts in hiring the Olympic wrestling champions Mark and Dave Schultz, played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo respectively, to train under the “Foxcatcher” estate and ready a team for the 1988 Olympics. Although, from this short synopsis anyway, Foxcatcher seems to be primarily a sports film, the reality is that Foxcatcher is a different monster entirely.

 When I first watched the trailer to Foxcatcher, I was astonished at the transformation of Carell, whose unrecognisable performance as Du Pont is undeniably the best feature of the film, with his character’s eerie presence and ambiguous nature symbolising the tone I felt the film was trying to convey throughout its’ two hour run-time. Both Carell and Tatum portray characters that are undeniably against type, and I felt this only enhanced the film’s strengths, as it’s dark and grim tone was unexpected, due in part to the fact that I had no previous knowledge of the events surrounding the story.

Another strength of the film is Ruffalo’s performance, who, like Carell, is nominated for a Golden Globe, yet what stuck me most about the film was it’s clear emphasis on the notion of family, with themes throughout focusing on brotherhood, paternal and maternal instincts, as well as feelings of isolation, particularly in relation to Du Pont, whose Gatsby-esque wealth and fame, brings with it a sense of loneliness and despair, helped only by his unusual love for his very own Daisy Buchanan, in the form of Mark Schultz.

Overall, Foxcatcher is a dark and twisted tale of one man’s isolation which engaged me throughout. Its’ grim nature and rather depressing feel may be too much for some, but in my opinion, Foxcatcher is a solid and surprising piece of cinema. Roll on the red carpet.

Overall Score: 8/10

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Posted on 11/01/2015, in Film & TV, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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