Foxcatcher is based on the true story of Mark and Dave Shultz (Channing Tatum & Mark Ruffalo) the 1984 Olympic Wrestling Gold Medalists who create a relationship with the deeply manipulative, eccentric billionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell). Mark is recruited to bring the national team to Foxcatcher Farm under the “tutelage” of du Pont, who was nothing more than a man who had more dollars than sense.
The relationship with the Shultz brothers and du Pont is riffed with psychological-warfare as du Pont was not the father figure Mark had longed for, but a monster who pitted brother against brother, that ended tragically once Dave is left behind with his family.
This is one of the darkest moments in wrestling history, but a must watch. It shows the struggles of making weight, the inner demons wrestlers face in dealing with self-doubt and the manipulation that some face through their coaches/sponsors.
Tatum is brilliant as Mark Shultz. His transformation was beyond anything I’ve ever seen from him and it will be difficult to top this performance. Ruffalo proved his skills on the mat, you can tell he wrestled at least at the high school level and his skills show, making him the perfect Dave Shultz who was always slightly better than his brother on the mat. Carell transformed himself to an almost unrecognizable character. There is already Oscar but around this one for Carell, but really Tatum should be noticed for the nod.
This film is over 2 hours and not once did I look at my watch wondering how much time was left. The only inaccuracy was Team USA taking some downtime to watch the early UFC fights. Foxcatcher took place between 1986-88 in preparing for the Seoul Summer Olympics, when the UFC didn’t debute until 1993. However, with that being my only complaint, there is nothing to nitpick about Foxcatcher.
Foxcatcher opens in New York and LA Friday, November 14, 2014 and in select cities Friday, November 21, 2014