Saturday, April 13, 2024

Cannes: Huge Ovation for “Foxcatcher” with Steve Carell, Now on Oscar Fast Track


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.


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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