D: Bennett Miller
Sony Pictures Classics/Annapurna (Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik, Anthony Bregman & Bennett Miller)
USA 🇺🇸 2014
W: Dan Futterman & E. Max Frye
DP: Greig Fraser
Ed: Stuart Levy, Conor O'Neill & Jay Cassidy
Mus: Rob Simonsen
Channing Tatum (Mark Schultz), Steve Carell (John E. DuPont), Mark Ruffalo (Dave Schultz), Sienna Miller (Nancy Schultz), Vanessa Redgrave (Jean DuPont), Anthony Michael Hall (Jack)
The golden rule of making a good sports movie is that it has the strength in it's story to appeal to those who don't follow the sport at the heart of its focus. Director Bennett Miller and writers Dan Futterman & E. Max Frye respect these rules, Foxcatcher is more about the danger of obsession and the fractured relationship between two brothers rather than Olympic wrestling.
Based on true events, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo play Mark and Dave Schultz, two Olympic gold medalist wrestlers whose close relationship is split when John Eleuthère DuPont, a reclusive millionaire, plans to sponsor the American wrestling for the next Olympics and wants the two brothers to coach the next team. Only Mark agrees to the deal and lives in a guest house in the opulent DuPont estate. Money and success don't always marry however, and DuPont's ulterior motive for this business venture ensures failure.
Dave joins to steady the ship, and though the relationship between him and Mark improves, the latter's friendship with DuPont becomes poisoned by distrust, leading to his expulsion from the group and a subsequent murder.
Though the film dramatises events to a point, it's a riveting watch due to the excellent performances, mostly from Steve Carell, against type from his usual comedy roles and disguised beneath makeup, as well as Mark Ruffalo, with a subtle performance as the older, more pragmatic of the two brothers. Even Channing Tatum turns in an award-worthy performance as the hot-headed athlete. Yes, you read the right.
The film was nominated for five Oscars in total, though it quite surprisingly failed to figure in the Best Picture race.