Foxcatcher – A masterful display of acting prowess, burdened with a sedated pace
Foxcatcher – Movie Review
Release Date: [imdblive:date]
Runtime: [imdblive:runtime] mins
How interesting can a film about American wrestling be? Fairly, if executed properly. Unfortunately, Foxcatcher lacks the pacing needed to push the film beyond its bland boundaries. It’s sluggish and dabbles in wrestling, but never fulfils the potential is teases. Whilst it suffices as a critique of American culture, it lacks the emotional and intelligent punch of Birdman – another satirical film. With this all being said, Foxcatcher boasts superb, career-defining performances by Rufallo, Carell and Tatum. The chemistry between the brothers is pitch perfect, and Carell’s depiction of du Pont is pitch-perfect. Unfortunately, one can only admire the acting for a short period of time in a film that gives nothing else to really admire.
Foxcatcher is based upon true events that unfolded before and around the 1988 Olympics. It’s concerns two brothers, each medal worthy who are roped in by one of America’s wealthiest men – du Pont. The billionaire utilises and manipulates the brothers to form a winning wrestling team – this comes at a price, as the film explores the ups and downs of this venture. It’s hones in on the consumerist nature of America and the greed of men at the time, but does so in an excruciatingly slow way. It doesn’t help that Tatum and Carell speak incredibly slowly throughout the whole film and the only one speaking in real time is Tatum, even when he mumbles. The film outstays it’s welcome, its 134 minutes long and it drags. I found myself staring at my watch wondering when then next wrestling scene would appear or when something interesting would happen. This is not to say the film is dull, it isn’t. It had interesting ideas, but is executed like a poor essay with unnecessary elongated scenes that don’t really add anything to the story, but do show the acting talent present.
The only thing Foxcatcher has going for it, is the acting talent which cannot be faulted. Carell is revolutionary and plays this sadistic, scarred man incredibly well. Tatum and Rufallo have great chemistry and the journeys the two brothers go through is, at times, compelling to watch. Each character has more than one dimension to them and if one has the patience to sit through the whole film then it is a interesting character study. But here lies the problem, the directing of the film makes it slow and awkward to follow the progression/regression of these men. If the film had more substance, more on wrestling or more happening than the film would have been far better and the acclaim for the acting would have been even better. This film is like having steak, mash and vegetables. The best part is the steak, the acting. The boring, unattractive aspects are the vegetables – the plot and the pace. If all the elements had meshed together more then the film would have been far more enjoyable as a whole – as it stands, Foxcatcher boasts great acting which is lumbered down with its dull pacing and uninspired plot points.