Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Cannes: DuPont Murder Mystery Foxcatcher Wows Press Screening


Brace yourselves: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo are mind blowingly good in Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher.” Postponed from last year this tautly told true murder tale will be a bigĀ  awards pleaser this fall.

This is the second real Oscar movie of 2013, after Wes Anderson’s “Grand Budapest Hotel” and possibly Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner.” We’ll see.

What a relief though that “Foxcatcher” was worth the wait. Tatum and Ruffalo are so good, but Steve Carell has the last laugh, making a transition from comedy and “The Office” to this substantial piece of acting.

Director Bennett Miller now makes it three in a row with “Capote,” “Moneyball,” and “Foxcatcher.” He will have to stick to one word titles for good luck! Miller presents a very deliberate, meticulous character study of a situation that still causes arguments: the murder of wrestling coach Dave Schultz by DuPont heir John DuPont III. The latter went to prison and died there in 2010.

Tatum and Ruffalo play the wrestling Schultz brothers with an easy rapport. Ruffalo is always good, but Tatum still surprises. He’s not just “Magic Mike.” As Mark Schultz, the younger of the two wrestling brothers, he carries his end of the movie with remarkable aplomb.

Cut down from their original roles are Sienna Miller as Dave’s wife, and Vanessa Redgrave as DuPont’s mother. I suppose something had to be cut. But these are memorable nevertheless.

At the press conference this afternoon, Miller deftly handled questions about the murder and the movie’s steady peeling away of the layers of the case. He also choked up and teared up when Philip Seymour Hoffman was mentioned. Miller directed Hoffman to an Oscar in “Capote” and cast him as the baseball manager in “Moneyball.”

“Foxcatcher” will come this fall, and then watch out. Along with Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” it’s going to be a big contender.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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