Script: Dan Futterman, E. Max Frye
Cast: Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Carell
Setting: 1980s, Pennsylvania
Rated : 8 Stars
Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) won gold at the 1984 Olympics. As did his older brother David (Mark Ruffalo). Now they are in training for the Worlds, and then they’ll be focusing on the 1988 Olympics. David has a family, he has a possible job as a wrestling coach lined up. None of that seems to be on the cards for Mark, wrestling is everything to him.
He is devoted to his sport, to winning, and to the United States of America.
But he doesn’t seem to sure of his place in life. He is proud of his achievement, but he doesn’t seem happy or content in any way.
One evening he gets a phone call from a representative of John Du Pont, of the Du Pont family, and so he travels to meet Mr. Du Pont (Steve Carell). Du Pont offers him a job and a place to live and train. He wants David to come along too. Mark jumps at the opportunity. He can’t quite believe that Du Pont will pay him $25,000 a year. But David is settled with his family. He has a life and a position, he turns the job down, wishing his younger brother all the best.
It is a fascinating film, made by the three central performances. Carell will probably get most of the praise, he certainly deserves a lot. But Tatum is equally as good in his taciturn, stoic role as Mark. And Ruffalo is almmost unrecognisable, a couple of his physical gesture certainly reminded me of Bruce Banner even if I couldn’t see him for most of the film.
However, the film one that seems to try and distance the viewer from the material. After the first scene of the two brothers, wrestling and training, it seems as though instead of trying to draw the viewer into the world of Foxcatcher it is trying to remind you how alien this world is. Even the way the film is shot seemed cold and uninviting. I suppose the world at Foxcatcher Farm was exactly that. Added to the slow, gradual build-up of tension, and I don’t think this film will be to everyone’s cup of tea. I thought it was great, but, due to that distancing, I couldn’t say that I loved the film. It is more than worth a watch, and the performances are excellent. You could go see the film just for the acting and come away happy.