Foxcatcher (2014)

logoDirector: Bennett Miller

Writer: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman (Screenplay)

Starring: Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Michael Hall, Guy Boyd, Brett Rice


Plot: The greatest Olympic Wrestling Champion brother team joins Team Foxcatcher lead by multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul – a union that leads to unlikely circumstances.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Shocking True Story


Story: Foxcatcher starts by introducing us to wrestler Mark Schultz (Tatum) Mark is an Olympic gold medallist, he is training for the world championship. He trains with his brother David (Ruffalo) who also won a gold medal at the previous Olympics. Mark gets a call from a representative of John du Pont (Carell) asking to meet him on the Foxcatcher ranch. John a wrestling coach offers to Mark a chance to join his ranch by fully supporting him in his goal of winning the 1988 Olympics. Mark takes up the offer but has to leave his brother behind to take up his chance to get everything he needs to be the best in the world. Foxcatcher ranch has very strict rules for Mark to follow as well as learning the history of the du Pont legacy of being one of the wealthiest families in America.

The training for the world championships starts with the team Mark selects but du Pont wants David too but he won’t up root his family, much to du Pont’s disappointment. 1987 World Championships Paris comes and Mark wins but tension between Mark and David starts to grow as Mark becomes very loyal to du Pont. Things take a turn when John introduces Mark to the world of drugs, while du Pont tries to increase the name of Mark Schultz within the powerful people in America. Du Pont never taking no for an answer goes all out to get Dave to join Foxcatcher, which leads to Mark falling back into his isolation. The Olympic trials are up and Mark has now pushed everyone out trying to prove to everyone he can do it alone but after losing his first bout his Olympic dreams could be in ruins. Dave as he has always been is there to try and rescue his dream and Mark makes it to the Olympic team. Mark and du Pont’s relationship broken it is up to Dave to keep the team together and bring back the gold medal but the shocking side to this story is only just about to happen.

Foxcatcher is a film that I tried my hardest to avoid learning the true story because I wanted to get the full effect of the film. I only speculated what this could be about but nothing really prepared me for what finally did happen. The film does focus on the training and how hard the athletes worked. It shows the successes and failures of the style along with the build of relationship between Mark and John before it all comes crashing down. It has a tension about every scene of the film as you are waiting to see what the shocking side to the story is and by the time it happens you will be shocked if you don’t know the story. It may end up being slightly slow at times but knowing that something will happen should keep you involved. (10/10)


Actor Review


Channing Tatum: Mark Schultz Olympic gold medallist who comes off socially awkward but when he gets a chance to lead a team for John du Pont going into the next Olympics he grabs it. After the relationship between the two falls apart he loses concentration and ends up falling back into his isolated mind-set. Channing gives his best performance of his career here and deserves all the praise he gets. (10/10)


Steve Carell: John du Pont part of the wealthiest family in America, he wants to go against his mother wishes of continuing on the family’s legacy in horse racing by training wrestlers. He talks everyone into joining his team because of his vast wealth but his methods will leave something question. Steve gives a stunning performance and is barely recognisable in the role. (10/10)


Mark Ruffalo: David Schultz part of the training program but also an Olympic gold medallist. He is much more sociable than his brother and his style ends up being more effective than du Pont’s which leads to tension between them. Mark gives a great performance which we would expect from him. (10/10)


Support Cast: Foxcatcher doesn’t have too many supporting cast members with most of the cast being small parts that are background to something bigger happening on the forefront.


Director Review: Bennett Miller – Bennett does a great job directing this true story that shocked the world at the time and will know shock the audience who see it. (10/10)


Biographical: Foxcatcher does a great job telling the story of three men trying to get an Olympic gold medal, it shows what drives them as well as their downfalls. (10/10)

Drama: Foxcatcher uses the drama to build the characters and show us how hard they are working to get to the next level. (10/10)

Sports: Foxcatcher focuses on wrestling world and how hard it is to become a star at an Olympic level. (9/10)

Thriller: Foxcatcher creates tension from every single scene waiting to see what happens that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. (10/10)

Settings: Foxcatcher uses the authentic settings to tell the story with most of the film being set in and around the Foxcatcher ranch. (9/10)
: Foxcatcher is one film that has to be watched, it has three performances that are stunning two of which many people wouldn’t know the stars would be capable off. It also tells the story that was shocking at the time. (Watch)


Best Part: Tatum and Carell give a performance I didn’t see in them.

Worst Part: If you know the true story it might not be as shocking.


Believability: It is based on the true story. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for 3 Golden Globes including Best Picture, Best Actor for Carell and Best Supporting Actor for Ruffalo.

Oscar Chances: Should get nominations

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

Tagline: Based on the shocking true story


Overall: Stunning True Story

Rating 92

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