Film Review: ‘Foxcatcher’

Channing Tatum and Steve Carell

In the decidedly non-comedic Foxcatcher, Steve Carell plays a guy so obviously bizarro that his success in life as a public figure could only have happened for one reason. He was filthy rich. Throughout this movie, there’s a sense that people are looking at John du Pont and just barely holding it together. Their body language says “Can you believe how weird this guy is?”, but their behavior says, “Hey, as long as he’s writing the checks …”

Du Pont inherited fabulous wealth, and toward the end of his life decided to spend a lot of it on wrestling. He built a state-of-the-art practice facility at his Pennsylvania estate, Foxcatcher, and acted as a figurehead coach for Olympic athletes there. The story culminated in violence, but as the movie tells it, there was plenty of strange behavior even before the tragic end. Director Bennett Miller (Capote) has created a film that exists almost entirely as a single, sustained, skin-crawling mood.

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