Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Comic-Con: Mad Max: Fury Road Footage Online
And some new images
Comic-Con: Marvel Screens Avengers: Age Of Ultron Footage
Dark times ahead for our heroes
Comic-Con: Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 Release Date Confirmed
James Gunn & co back in July 2017
Comic-Con: Marvel Debuts More Ant-Man Test Footage
Scott Lang goes riding
Lucy Defeats Hercules At The US Box Office
Scarlett Johansson triumphs over Dwayne Johnson
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
25 July 2014
Comic-Con: Avengers: Age Of Ultron Concept Art Posters
Update: See the whole combined image
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Avengers: Age Of Ultron
24 April 2015
Jupiter Ascending
06 February 2015
Foxcatcher
25 December 2014
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
Begin Again (2014)
Empire Star Rating
22 Jump Street (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Thanks For Sharing (2013)
Empire Star Rating
White House Down (2013)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Cannes 2014: First Look At Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher
Empire grapples with Channing Tatum's wrestlemania

20 May 2014  |  Written by Damon Wise  

submit to reddit



With Foxcatcher, Bennett Miller reveals himself as a very, very interesting director, taking genuine artistic risks in the wake of the much more commercially viable Moneyball. It’s no wonder this film was held for Cannes and not debuted in the North American festivals of last year, since its style is very European (a euphemism for 'slow', itself often a euphemism for 'boring') and not at all what one might expect from what is essentially (like Capote) a true crime story.

Instead, this is an opaque human drama with a lot to say about male relationships, which it does in a very strong and tactile way. Wrestling is a key component of the film, and Miller doesn’t back away from it, staying slightly removed and somewhat objective about the various training techniques and moves. Bulky men in leotards could so easily become camp and silly, but an excellent performance by Channing Tatum ensures the film stays grounded.

The story itself is very simple: gold medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Tatum) is approached by chemicals billionaire John Du Pont (Steve Carell) to help him assemble the US team for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Schultz accepts the offer and tries to recruit his brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), who is initially sceptical. But as Dave comes round to the idea, Mark becomes more and more disillusioned with Du Pont, a controlling and deeply strange individual.

History tells us that this relationship didn’t end well, but Miller’s films sets up a very unusual and intimate triangular dynamic, one that is rare for a Hollywood film. Foxcatcher is mostly propelled by what it doesn’t tell us that what it does, using its core cast so beautifully – will Carell or Tatum get the Best Actor nomination? – that this is sure to be a major player come awards season.

In the foreground we have Du Pont and Mark Schultz, a pair so polar – the aloof one-per-center and the eager-to-please working man – that they bring instant subtext whenever they’re together. Then we have Du Pont and Dave Schultz, a much more fractious collaboration. But the combination that gives the film its heart is the pairing of Tatum and Ruffalo as the brothers; Mark as the bruised and vulnerable bear of a man, with the more sensible Dave acting as his trainer, mentor and, ultimately, saviour.

Some might find this oblique approach a little alienating, but, for the patient, Foxcatcher is a powerful and most likely durable film, a sinister bromance with unusual overtones of male daddy issues that seems to occupy a permanent state of winter. It will be fascinating to see where all concerned go next...


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Three New Stills For Disney's Animated Sci-Fi Big Hero Six
Hello Mr. Roboto
Alfonso Cuarón May Wrangle Fantastic Beasts
Update: He won't tackle the Potter prequel

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

The Empire Podcast #121: Brett Ratner Talks Hercules On This Week's Show
Plus The Purge: Anarchy producer Jason Blum pops in to talk horror

Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Our official verdict on Marvel's latest addition to their cinematic universe

Frank Grillo's Ten Toughest Hollywood Tough Guys
The Purge: Anarchy star picks his favourite badasses

Role By Role With Joel McHale
The star of The Soup and Community on Spider-Man 2 and much more

'I Have The Club But I Didn't Get The Lion's Head'
Dwayne Johnson (and pals) talks Hercules props, action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)