Ornithologist, philatelist, philanthropist...
Palace Como, 29/01 6:30pm
Running time: 134m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Drug use and violence)
Release date: 29/01/15
Cost: $10 (Optus rewards)
Rating: 9.5/10 (ME 5/5, DP 4.5/5)
When Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) receives a call to meet with eccentric millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell), we find ourselves plunged into the uncomfortable and bizarre world of Foxcather. To purge himself of his own insecurities and in an attempt to impress his mother (Vanessa Redgrave), du Pont enlists Mark and later his brother David (Mark Ruffalo), to take on coaching the US wrestling team for the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. David is reluctant at first, his loyalties split between the needs of his brother and those of his own young family, but soon finds himself immersed in du Pont's bizarre world as an integral part of Team Foxcatcher. The dynamic between the three of them creates sparks; the millionaire needing approval, the wrestler needing to create his own identity and the brother trying to find a balance between them all.
This is a film that creates discomfort from the beginning; none of the characters are at home in their surroundings. Amidst this discomfort are moments of tenderness and the touch between the main characters, whether wrestling or not, implies a warmth tinged with sadness and longing. At times it almost feels like 'Behind the Candelabra' meets 'Rocky' as the relationship between John and Mark (fuelled by their use of cocaine and alcohol) reaches a point of intimacy that is never fully explored on screen. All characters are victims of their individual circumstances, unwilling to fully accept the cards they've been dealt. There are no villains here, just men with needs that are both simple and complex at the same time.
The performances are all brilliant. Steve Carell proves himself an actor of great skill, exercising restraint and subtlety by breathing life into the creepy and flawed John du Pont. Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo are thoroughly convincing as brothers searching for themselves. The sound design is extraordinary with music used sparingly and silence used to great effect. Production design plunges us convincingly into the late 80s without the need for gimmicks to set the tone. The direction is clear and purposeful and the script is tight well edited. Highly recommended. (ME)
87th Academy Awards
2015 British Academy Film Awards
4th AACTA International Awards
21st Screen Actors Guild Awards
72nd Golden Globe Awards