Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: The January Sale!
Try 3 issues of Empire magazine for just £1
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
23 January 2015
Podcast #145: Ethan Hawke, J.C. Chandor
Isn't it ironic?
Sophie Turner Is X-Men: Apocalypse's Jean Grey
Tye Sheridan will be Cyclops. Alexandra Shipp is Storm
Marvel Wants Chiwetel Ejiofor For The Doctor Strange Cast
He's being courted to play a mystery role
Scorsese Secures The Finance For Silence
So shooting can start immediately
Karl Urban Eyed For Aquaman Role
And 300: Rise Of An Empire's Noam Murro is on the director shortlist
Hannibal Season 3 Trailer Served Up Online
'I forgive you...'
DreamWorks Cutting Back Its Film Slate
And ghost 'toon B.O.O. is going back into limbo
Simon West Directing A New Blob Remake
Jelly from space prepares its fourth landing
Zac Efron Knows Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates
He's joined the new comedy
Rose McGowan To Direct Pines
Alex Mar's culty psychological thriller
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
19 January 2015
First Set Photos From Now You See Me 2
See Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan with the gang
More Movie News

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

RELATED REVIEWS
Foxcatcher (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Alexander And The Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Book Of Life (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Begin Again (2014)
Empire Star Rating
22 Jump Street (2014)
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


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Jessica Chastain Takes The IMDbunker
The Most Violent Year star takes our most random quiz

Five Impressive Oscar Isaac Roles You Didn't Realise Were Oscar Isaac
Welcome to Oscar season...

Johnny Depp And Paul Bettany Talk Mortdecai
How good is your 'Mortdecai face'?

Fables: A Primer
An introduction to Bill Willingham’s wonderfully dark fairy-tale world

12 Hitchcock Remakes Ranked From Best To Worst
Lifeboat in space, anyone?

From Mission: Impossible To Mortdecai: Writer/Director David Koepp Talks Screenwriting
What would you do if you were in charge of the Spider-Man franchise?

Ghost In The Shell: A Crash Course
Everything you need to know about Scarlett Johansson’s anime remake

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

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 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month 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  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)