Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Foxcatcher Review - 2 Stars

The coming attractions trailer for “Foxcatcher” knocked me out with an especially chilling  scene of a creepy Steve Carell as a wrestling coach holding a gun and calling Channing Tatum over for a chat.  “Foxcatcher” is based on the true crime story of eccentric billionaire John du Pont who turned his thoroughbred horse farm into a training facility for some members of the U.S. Olympic wrestling team in the 1980’s.  Tatum plays Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz and Mark Ruffalo plays Schultz’ older brother Dave, who actually coached the players while letting du Pont hijack the title “Coach.”   Early on Carell lets you know something’s off with this guy    Clearly du Pont’s wants to buy respectability and friendship from the athletes.  I won’t reveal where this story goes but I will say it fulfills its unhappy promise.  “Foxcatcher” recreates these strange events but doesn’t do a very good job of letting us know why they happened. Carell hits one note with du Pont and stays with it.  The movie plays slow in order to amps up the tension.  But it doesn’t particularly pay off. There’s plenty of awards talk for Carell and it’s great to see him play against type.  But Carell makes du Pont so creepy I left wondering why any of the athletes stayed at that farm.  Does it deliver what it promises?  True crime story.  Is it entertaining?  Lots of tension but slow.  Is it worth the price of admission?  As an award contender this one’s a disappointment.