Carell’s performance fails to save ‘Foxcatcher’

By Chris Minitelli
Staff Writer

There has certainly been a lot of buzz from critics and audiences alike about Bennett Miller’s recent movie “Foxcatcher.” This buzz has been mixed with varying reactions and thoughts, most of which I have to agree with.

“Foxcatcher” tells the true story of one of the greatest Olympic wrestling champion team led by two brothers who decide to join Team Foxcatcher. This new team is led and financed by the multimillionaire John E. du Pont of the du Pont family and du Pont chemical company (portrayed by Steve Carell). The wrestling brothers, Mark and David Schultz, are played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, respectively. The story follows the brothers along with du Pont as they train for the 1988 Olympic games in Seoul, South Korea. However, this new partnership leads these men into very difficult and dubious circumstances.

As I was watching this film, I found myself constantly trying to think of why this was even made into a movie. The storyline for this film was a bit too flat and underdeveloped for me. I felt that nothing really happened in the movie until the last 30 minutes or so. Understandably, this movie was about a wrestling team and its preparations to compete. However, I felt that other personal components of the characters were ignored. Especially in the case of Ruffalo’s character, I thought that more background and development should have been given in order for the audience to actually identify and empathize with him.

Although I felt that there should have been more focus on the characters’ lives, the three main actors definitely gave powerful performances. Ruffalo and Tatum did a good job portraying the brothers and give their characters proper portrayals. However, the true standout in this film is Carell, who gave a performance that I do not think anyone saw coming. He definitely showed that he is able to now cross over into more serious and dramatic roles. As du Pont, Carell managed to have the audience feel as uncomfortable and confused as the other characters in the film — which is definitely difficult to do.

With the Academy Awards coming up, “Foxcatcher” has accumulated five nominations, including Ruffalo for Best Supporting Actor and Carell for Best Actor. While both of these men had stellar performances, I do not think “Foxcatcher” will actually sweep the Oscars.

Ultimately, “Foxcatcher” is only really worth watching just to see how much Steve Carell is actually capable of doing as an actor. Besides his performance, this film is neither very memorable nor worth investing much time in.

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