Foxcatcher (2014) Review

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Foxcatcher (2014)

Directed by Bennett Miller

Starring:
Steve Carell
Channing Tatum
Mark Ruffalo
Vanessa Redgrave
Sienna Miller

Running time: 134 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Foxcatcher is a 2014 American biographical drama film based on the true events surrounding John du Pont’s efforts in hiring the Schultz brothers to help train US wrestling Olympians.

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My Opinion:

I’ll keep this brief (I promise!). This sort of true story drama isn’t really my sort of thing usually. Obviously, this isn’t the type of movie where you can exactly say you “loved it” or thoroughly enjoyed it or that you’d want to watch over & over again. It’s not an easy watch but I did think it was a good film with wonderful performances (even from Channing Tatum!).

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As for the real life story, I didn’t know a THING about it beforehand. I’d never heard of anyone involved & didn’t know what the outcome would be so I was totally engrossed the entire time. As always, I won’t reveal the full plot as I think it’s probably better to watch this with no knowledge of what happened if you don’t already know the story. It’s a very slooooowwww movie and also very quiet (which makes you feel self-conscious while munching on popcorn!). I think some people may not like the slow pace but this is a movie that is all about the performances and the character studies of a very eccentric millionaire and a lonely young man who strike up an unusual partnership & friendship.

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The nominations received by Steve Carell & Mark Ruffalo so far are indeed well deserved. It’s a shame that Channing Tatum seems to be being left out but his performance deserves praise as well. It may be because he doesn’t seem to exactly be playing against “type”… I’ve complained about him before – Magic Mike was rubbish & he seemed very out of place in Side Effects. However, the Jump Street films really suit him and this role does as well. Unfortunately, he’s overshadowed by Carell (who I never liked until The Way Way Back – why do I only like funny actors when they move on to serious roles?) and even, surprisingly, Ruffalo.

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Summary:

Foxcatcher is well worth the watch just for the performances alone. The tension builds very slowly and I’ll admit that the story possibly takes a little too long to tell but the time spent is worth it for the amount of character development you get. I can’t say I “enjoyed” the movie due to the subject matter (the outcome but also the “wrestling” – I’m sorry but, especially as a girl, I just DON’T get wrestling). However, it’s luckily not a “sports” movie as that part takes a backseat to the exploration of the relationship between Carell’s & Tatum’s characters. I’m glad I saw it and I found Carell’s character fascinating.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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27 thoughts on “Foxcatcher (2014) Review

  1. Good review. It was a good movie, although I agree, not really an ‘enjoyable’ one. I had previously read the story of DuPont and the Shulz brothers so knew what was the outcome before watching, but it didn’t take anything away from the movie.

    I disagree about Magic Mike though, that films awesome!!!

  2. Question for you – i happened to know the historical events the film is based on and how this story ends (i read a review of Mark Schultz’s book in the Times when it was published) do you think this will diminish my appreciation of the film?

    • Hmm. No, I don’t think so. The performances are great – it really is worth watching just for that. Supposedly Schultz isn’t happy with the adaptation, though. Would be interesting to read his book now.

      • Cool. I like Carrell and was a bit worried.

        I heard about Schultz being unhappy – he’s bit aggreived with some critics sending some homo-erotic undertones. He’s a big manly man you see…

  3. I haven’t seen this, but I suspect if I do see it, we’ll end up feeling very similarly about it. I actually like Carell, so I’d be curious to see him in this–Ruffalo, too. Tatum I can take or leave. I’m the same–he pretty much only entertains me in Jump Street. Well, and This Is the End, but that is a VERY brief role. Lol. We’ll see how he does as Gambit…Anywho, well done, Mutant! Also, I definitely laughed out loud at the popcorn crunching thing. I HATE when it goes all quiet and you’re eating in a movie theater. Feels painfully awkward. Lol.

    • Ha! I did like his brief role in This Is The End. πŸ˜‰ God I’ve seen a lot of Channing Tatum’s skin… I also had a bit of a cough when I went to this so I was all “cough crunch cough crunch”. Man, I must have been annoying! Yeah, this is worth checking out for Carell’s & Ruffalo’s performances. πŸ™‚

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  5. You don’t get wrestling!? We need to fix that. Haha! πŸ˜› Great review. Laughed at your popcorn drama – the film is noticeably quiet which I think works in its favour and ratchets up the tension. I really liked Foxcatcher.

    Adam.

  6. Well you know I like Magic Mike, simply for the dance scenes haha. And yes this movie was quiet feeling, I remember I was eating red vines and I felt self conscious while chewing. I have half this review written and I can’t seem to finish it because the movie is very blah in a way. Nice review!

  7. Good review lady!

    I have always liked Ruffalo, he’s cool. I am looking forward to seeing this, because I keep hearing how good Carell is and I am really not a fan of the majority of his work.

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