Though “winning” is an incongruous term for Bennet Miller’s brooding Foxcatcher, the film is certainly winning praise from critics at Cannes and getting a head start in this year’s awards season.
The early consensus seems to have matched, if not exceeded, the expectations for Miller’s third directorial effort: the film is described as deeply disturbing and tragic but highly intricate and nuanced. Based on the tragic true story, troubled Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler Mark Schulz (Channing Tatum) accepts the tutelage and partnership of John E. du Pont (Carrell), a wealthy but mentally unstable benefactor who ultimately murders Mark’s brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo).
Though critics have praised the three performances as Oscar worthy, most have singled out Carrell’s; in a project that’s a huge far cry from his realm of comedy, Carrell reportedly spent an impressive 7 months diligently preparing for the reticent, pernicious Du pont. Tatum and Ruffalo also trained intensely in wrestling for 6 months under the instruction of the real Mark Schulz.
Critics seem to be taking the bait from Sony Pictures Classics: the distributor planned to use Foxcatcher’s Cannes premiere as “a launch pad for awards season.” The film will assuredly be released in the middle of awards season on November 14 this year.