Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall, Vanessa Redgrave
Directed By: Bennett Miller
This is going to be an unpopular opinion review, and believe me, I’m as surprised as you are. Foxcatcher was one of my most anticipated films, especially of Oscar season. I’d heard that Steve Carell was brilliant, that Channing Tatum was acting his face off, and Mark Ruffalo might get another Oscar nomination. I was seriously underwhelmed by Foxcatcher.
I think my biggest problem with Foxcatcher is that instead of playing someone off the rails, or clearly insane, Carell plays someone who is a different, subdued kind of crazy. I think the whole plan of the ending was that we weren’t really supposed to know why his character snaps, but with no resolution, it seems so odd and out of character Sure, his John DuPont is weird, but a homicidal maniac? I never got that feeling, and perhaps that was because it was still Steve Carell under that makeup.
I was impressed by Carell’s performance, in that it was something completely different for him to do. I don’t think the role was showy enough in the end. DuPont never goes full crazy, rather just an uncomfortable crazy. And I don’t get the hype around Ruffalo’s performance. It’s a nice performance, but there are much better supporting turns this year that deserve your attention. If anything, I could understand hype for Channing Tatum, as this is truly the best performance he’s ever given. He’s come a long way, and this movie is a real breakthrough for him, probably even more so than it is for Carell.
Another problem that I had was the film was really slow. Sure, it’s a drama, and not every film needs to be fast and action packed, but it dragged a lot, especially in the beginning. I just expect more from an Oscar contender.
FINAL GRADE: B-