“The dark comic absurdity of one the wealthiest men in America bringing a team of wrestlers onto his estate to train where he would become their coach without knowing anything about wrestling—it was funny,” director Bennett Miller said this weekend about the true tale that his latest film “Foxcatcher” is based on. “Except the outcome was horrible. It was funny… until it wasn’t.”
Miller’s “Foxcatcher” played the New York Film Festival this past weekend, where it was once again met with rave reviews (check out our A-grade review from Cannes). Even co-star Vanessa Redgrave called the movie a “masterpiece” during the NYFF press conference. Starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher” is the true story of two Olympic wrestlers whose unlikely relationship with a wealthy patron led to tragedy.
Carell stars as the emotionally disturbed John DuPont, who takes the two wrestlers under his wing. It’s a super dark turn for Carell, one that many audiences didn’t expect. “It was intense, it was dark. It wasn’t a happy, sort of glib set. I think everyone took it very seriously, in part because everyone felt there was real responsibility to the story,” Carell remarked. “I don’t have a master plan,” he continued, discussing his decision to star in this dark role. “Getting the chance to work with [Miller] was a huge draw for me. It was in the same way in terms of preparing and understanding as much as you can about what you’re about to do and the tone of what you are going to do. And once you get there, letting it all go and not thinking about the preparation. Just try to make it genuine.”
And it sounds like both Carell and Tatum are both going to be vying for Best Male actor during the Oscar season. Here’s the long form synopsis:
Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is struggling in obscurity and poverty in Wisconsin when he is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to move on to his lavish estate to form a team and to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Schultz seizes the opportunity, eager to step out of the shadow of his revered older brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), a prominent wrestling coach and Gold Medal winner himself.
With his vast financial resources and state-of-the-art training facility at Foxcatcher Farm, du Pont appoints himself head coach of the team, eager to win the respect of his peers and the approval of his condemning mother (Vanessa Redgrave).
The dynamic between Schultz and du Pont deepens as Mark embraces his benefactor as a father figure. But du Pont’s mercurial personality and psychological gameplay begins to weigh heavily on Mark’s shaky self-esteem, undermining his abilities on the mat. When du Pont’s favoritism shifts to brother Dave — who possesses the authority and confidence both he and Mark lack —the trio is propelled towards a tragedy no one could have foreseen.
From Academy Award® nominee Bennett Miller (CAPOTE, MONEYBALL) comes a searing true-life account of three men grappling for very different versions of the American Dream.
Fresh from its premiere at NYFF, a new trailer for the film has arrived. “Foxcatcher” opens November 14, and it’s safe to already say it’s one of our favorite movies of the year so far. Watch the trailer and the 30 minute NYFF press conference below.