The upcoming dramatic thriller Foxcatcher showcases renown comedic actor Steve Carrell as the titular role, although this time he has been given a chance to display unto the world his dramatic acting chops. The film is based on actual events and also stars Hollywood A-Listers Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.
The storyline follows Carrell’s character John E. du Pont as the off-kilter heir to one of the wealthiest families in America. It is the year of the 1988 Olympics and du Pont brings it upon himself to begin an intensive wrestling camp for the best young prospects in the country to train for the upcoming games at his Foxcatcher Farm near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
Among the group of wrestlers who join du Pont’s camp at his eery mansion include gold medalist Mark Schultz (played by Channing Tatum) who is seen as a financially unstable individual, giving speeches to children for pocket change and eating ramen noodles for dinner. Schultz’s older brother (Mark Ruffalo), also an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, is named David and has all the successes of life his younger brother lacks such as a wife, children and a grasp on the reality of the world.
Carrell’s character keeps asking Mark when his older brother plans to move to the Foxcatcher resort, in hopes of garnering the most talented collection of young wrestlers he can find. Mark states that David is reluctant and that he is happy in his current position and shows no interest in the luxury du Pont has been providing for the other wrestlers. Vanessa Redgrave plays the elderly mother of John E. du Pont and finds her son’s hobby in taking in all these young men to be rather strange.
The feel throughout the film is stated to be rather unsettling and quite and experience to go through. Capote director Bennett Miller helms the film and displays an extreme mastery of subtext within many of the film’s scenes, drawing exquisite performances out of the principal cast. It is undoubtable that Miller has his eye on as many awards as possible in this upcoming season due to the fact that the director has reportedly taken liberties in historical accuracy in order to provide a more artistic piece of filmography. Perhaps audiences will be hearing more of Foxcatcher come time for the Oscars.
Although the subject matter may not be everyone’s cup of tea, one must give props to Carrell for undergoing such a challenge of a role that audiences have rarely seen him take a stab at. The actor’s performance in Foxcatcher is so specific and the physical transformation he has undergone through makeup is extremely unsettling, so much so that one could easily deem the actor unrecognizable. The main focus of the plot is spotlighted on the bizarre relationship between Carrell and Tatum’s characters, which according to the trailer ends on a rather negative note.
A film such as Foxcatcher that allows a comedic actor such as Steve Carrell to showcase his acting chops is a huge blessing in the world of Hollywood. For once an individual proves successful in one aspect of the business, the corporate world is not so easily persuaded to let them try anything else. Thankfully Carrell has broken through that wall and audiences will be able to see his acting anew when the film opens in theaters on Nov. 14. A trailer for the film can be viewed below.
By Cody Collier