Foxcatcher is a biographical, true crime drama, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19, 2014. The plot follows the life of multimillionaire John E. du Pont (Stevel Carell), an eccentric who loves wrestling. Early in the film, du Pont meets the Schultz brothers, Mark (Channing Tatum) an Dave (Mark Ruffalo).
During the film’s progression, John du Pont takes Mark under his wing and guides him, in hopes of making his wrestling camp, Team Foxcatcher, into something special. Although he is also a wrestling champion, when they meet, Mark struggles to escape his brother’s shadow. The brothers are polar opposites, with Mark living in squalor and Dave living lavishly. With an offer of a large sum of money, Mark quickly joins Team Foxcatcher and begins to train under du Pont’s helm. Of course, John isn’t satisfied with only one brother. He insists on recruiting Dave, but fails.
Through their journey, the two men begin to develop a friendship. The pair share a lot of similarities including growing up friendless. John discusses his mother’s, Jean (Vanessa Redgrave), act of hiring a boy to pretend to be John’s friend. Through their friendship and cooperation, Mark excels and captures gold at the 1987 World Wrestling Championships.
The pair hit a road bump, when du Pont catches Mark and his training partners watching MMA. This causes him to attempt to recruit Dave to the team, which enrages Mark. With their relationship strained, Mark attempts to train on his own for the upcoming 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Things are quickly spiraling out of control for both men, as their relationship continues to fade. By the time the Olympics are over, they’re on a collision course for disaster.
When you look at the leading cast of Foxcatcher and see Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, you instantly think you’re going to chuckle all the way through. Although there are a few funny moments, this definitely isn’t a comedy. In fact, it is quite bleak and gloomy. The film’s atmosphere is perfectly maintained throughout the affair. The story is definitely interesting enough to hold your attention. The viewer is greeted with triumphs, depressing lows and the ultimate climax.
The film is a success thanks to the strong performances from Carell and Tatum. The pair really bring their characters to life and help to give the film a bit of a documentary vibe. The film is a bit slow, but du Pont’s psyche and transformation is definitely worth exploring. The movie also provides an insightful look at professional wrestling and the extremes the athletes will go to, in order to succeed. This gloomy tragedy deserves an 8 out of 10.