DRAMA; 2hr 14min
STARRING: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo
Gamesmanship: Carell (left) and Tatum
As wrestling champion Mark Schultz, Channing Tatum has a hulking, simian physicality inversely mirrored by a hawk-nosed, shifty-eyed Carell, radically transformed into mentally disturbed multimillionaire John du Pont. Although no expert, Du Pont has a love of wrestling that is as single-minded as Mark’s own and when he waves his misguided, megadollar wand over Mark’s subsistent life, offering to house and train him at the du Pont family’s stupendous Foxcatcher Farms with the glittering lure of 1988 Seoul Olympic Games gold as the goal, Mark is ready. Their relationship, an already destructive, vaguely homoerotic symbiosis of mentor-student/father-son, degenerates into tormentor-victim when a disenchanted du Pont recruits Mark’s gifted wrestler brother, Dave (Ruffalo), to whom Mark has always felt inferior, as his assistant coach.
A real-life involvement that ended so blackly is ripe for sensationalism, but Moneyball director Bennett Miller plays it steadfastly cool, his quiet assurance imprinted at every hairpin turn by a great, naturalistic cast. Knowing its outcome adds a tragic weight to Mark and Dave’s rise and fall: money, even millions, is a finite currency, after all, and regardless of du Pont’s posturing, there will be no winners.