When the truth is stranger than fiction, why not stick to the truth?
Foxcatcher tells the true-ish story of John Eleuthère Du Pont, heir to the Du Pont legacy, and his quest for glory via his Foxcatcher wrestling team.
In the film, DuPont arranges for Olympic gold medal wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) to take a trip to his family’s Foxcatcher ranch. Once there, Du Pont (played brilliantly by Steve Carell) recruits Schultz to spearhead the wrestling team he aims to start.
When the—at times homoerotic—relationship between Du Pont and Schultz get’s rocky, Du Pont opens his doors and his check book to Mark’s brother, David Schultz to take the reigns.
When things still don’t go as planned, and the growing mental instability of Du Pont takes a stronger hold, he explodes in a final moment that forever alters the lives of all concerned.
The moment, at the time of my viewing, was a true shock that in many ways salvaged the super slow buildup of the first two acts. The film then wraps everything else up in one small scene that was largely forgettable. After viewing the film, and learning of the true story of Du Pont and the Schultz brothers, I became quickly disappointed. The final moment, dealt with so briefly by the filmmakers, in actuality was a tense, two-day-long standoff, full of all the tension and drama that would have made this an Oscar worthy film.
The most noteworthy aspect of the film is definitely the performance of Steve Carell as Du Pont. He does a marvelous job going against typecast and getting in the head of a very disturbed man, a feat which may earn him an Oscar nomination. There were strong performances throughout, however.
Overall, Foxcatcher does a marvelous job in building dread, but then fails largely in it’s climax. Leaving me with a case of cinematic blue balls.