Foxcatcher... a limp train wreck of a film, driven only by the tragedy
of the true story on which it's based, and no doubt geared to be hot at
the Oscars thanks to huge departures from typecasting for both Carrell
"Accuracy of events and characterizations be damned - we're making an art movie here!"
Let's summarize, shall we? Forrest Gump and his bearded brother, Quasimodo, both won wrestling gold in the 84 Olympics. Their relationship is somewhat strained, as Forrest feels second best. 1987, we see Forrest poor and down on his luck, when mentally disturbed narcissist, billionaire & self-appointed ace wrestling coach, Montgomery Burns, invites Forrest over to his elaborate estate to wrestle for him and assist in coaching his team in exchange for boarding and big money. Forrest wins gold at the 87 World championships, and fosters a twisted father/son relationship with Mr Burns.
Much homo-erotic bonding, drinking and drug use later, Mr Burns loses his marbles, humiliates Forrest (who is now addicted to booze and cocaine), and instead brings in Quasimodo as assistant coach, reducing Forrest to wrestler status. Forrest cracks under the pressure, and sucks at the 88 Olympics. Mr Burns grows envious of Quasimodo's coaching prowess and success, as well as his efforts to protect Forrest, regardless of poor performance. Forrest gets the boot & takes up cage fighting, while Quasimodo stays behind and eventually gets murdered by a slow-burning, envious Mr Burns.
Channing Tatum plays Mark Schulz, aka Forrest Gump - minus the good humor and sunny disposition... instead replaced by an overly-accentuated ape-walk and a constantly protruding forced under-bite that obviously made it hard to speak. A shame that he had to be portrayed in a mentally challenged, quasi-autistic fashion, when the actual Mark Schulz is in fact a personable guy that had a 3.6 GPA in high school.
Mark Ruffalo is Dave Schulz, aka Quasimodo - having packed on a few pounds of muscle and managing to look exactly like David Cross, our tragic hero is always hunched over and bow-legged, in a morning-after-Brokeback-Mountain kind of way.
And finally, funny man Steve Carrell... John DuPont - who is portrayed as Mr Burns with a speech impediment, an unhealthy love for guns, and a thousand-yard-stare borne of the constant clamoring for his aristocratic mother's affections & approval. His over-accentuated giant nose sadly changes size and shape several times throughout the film.
Everyone else is just a face - added like an afterthought, with no real interactions or discussions with the main characters.
It's got the whole "Faustian retelling, filled with belated guilted patriotism for a fallen American sports champion" vibe about it - throw in some men grappling, oddly shot scenes, men hugging, incredibly slow dialog, men slapping each other's backs and shoulders and a score filled with loads of melancholic piano during dramatic shots, and it's easy to see how it was so loved by the Cannes crowd...
Personally though, I wanted to gouge out my eyes halfway through - the film could have been around 40 minutes shorter were it not for the dramatic artsy landscape / filmed through a window / mundane happenings scenes and the frustratingly slow dialog.
The most entertaining bit during the entire 2-hour ordeal, was having a chuckle at the snoring of the guy sitting behind me.
I went in expecting an epic sports drama of Warrior proportions, and left depressed, wondering where it all went wrong.
Avoid this film like the plague.
Action / Biography / Drama / Sport
Action / Biography / Drama / Sport
Based on true events, Foxcatcher tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers. When Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to move on to the du Pont estate and help form a team to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics at his new state-of-the-art training facility, Schultz jumps at the opportunity, hoping to focus on his training and finally step out of the poverty striken situation Olympic caliber athletes like he and his revered brother, Dave (Mark Ruffalo). Driven by hidden needs, du Pont sees backing Schultz's bid for Gold and the chance to "coach" a world-class wrestling team as an opportunity to gain the elusive respect of his peers and, more importantly, his disapproving mother (Vanessa Redgrave). Trapped in du Pont's majestic but suffocating world, Mark comes to see his benefactor as an ...
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February 18, 2015 at 06:05 AM