zondag 22 februari 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 29: Foxcatcher

Director: Bennett Miller
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 134 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Michael Hall

Description: The greatest Olympic Wrestling Champion brother team joins Team Foxcatcher led by multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont (Steve Carell) as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul - a union that leads to unlikely circumstances.

Review: “Foxcatcher” starts with the message that the movie is based on a true story. Dangerous, because the genre of sports movies often fall into clich├ęs and a lazy story. “Foxcatcher” manages to avoid it for a big part. That’s because the story doesn’t only focus on wrestler Mark Schultz, it also centers coach John Du Pont. Mark leads a lonely and apparent agonized life. Everything is about sports. It gets him a gold medal at the Olympics in 1984. Years later it’s just train, eat, sleep for Mark. Untill he gets a mysterious call that changes his life forever. The call is from John Du Pont, an eccentric millionaire with big plans for Mark and wrestling in general. Du Pont, rich due to arms trade, decides to sponsor the wrestler.
There is a reason for that. Wrestling isn’t only a passion, their characters match. DuPont is also a loner. Where Mark has no one else besides his brother, Du Pont has a similar past. Together the two outsiders complement each other and manage to be successful. With excellence, intensity and dominance the world is at their feet. Until all of this also affects their mutual relationship. What started as a dream, is slowly turning into a nightmare.
Although the tension isn’t always there and some supporting characters don’t really work, the story is solid. An extra plus is the sublime acting. Steve Carell convinces, in this unconventional, serious role. Mark Ruffalo also does a very good job. But it’s Channing Tatum that impressed me the most. Off course he has the physique of a wrestler, but he also shows his acting skills. Everyone talks about Carell and Ruffalo, but I think Tatum’s performance was the best.
The developments in the movie, including the wrestle matches, are very detailed. The movie has a dark tone and atmosphere. You feel that throughout the entire movie. Same as the length and slow pace of the movie.
“Foxcatcher” is a powerful movie, with a strong story and great acting. But due to the length and the slow pace I would not rewatch this movie.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

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