It’s not like Steve Carell hasn’t been good in things other than “The Office.” He’s had very nice performances in “Little Miss Sunshine” and “The Way Way Back,” even “Date Night.” But he plays psychopath John DuPont III in Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” so brilliantly that he’s destined for an Oscar nomination.
Carell’s will be one of many for “Foxcatcher,” which doesn’t open until November. In the meantime, it’s the only film to open at Cannes this year with robust applause at the press screening, calls of “Bravo!” at the press conference, and a 20 minute standing ovation tonight in the Lumiere theater at the Palais.
The audience really went wild for “Foxcatcher” tonight and with good reason. First of all, Cannes has been bereft of really good films. Second, “Foxcatcher” is the real thing. If only Tommy Lee Jones had re-conceptualized “The Homesman” from a novel into a movie. Oh what could have been…
Carell is blown away. He look stunned all day. At the party at the Baoli Beach club on the Croisette, Carell genuinely was having trouble taking it all in. How did he make the transition from comedy to this heavy role? “They– the producers, Bennett Miller– just had this idea I’d be right for it. They called me up. That was that.”
Cannes has been a blur. “I’m standing in a lot of places not knowing what to do,” he told me. “I’m trying to remember specific moments. But it’s all happening so fast.”
The whole cast came to the party, including Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, as well as Jessica Chastain, Sofia Coppola, Willem Dafoe, and Oscar winning director of “The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius. On Wednesday, he premieres “The Search,” shot last year in Georgia (Russia) which filled in for Chechnya. Everyone is begging to see the film early, he told me. Only Harvey Weinstein, who turned “The Artist” into Oscar gold, may have the inside track.