Foxcatcher is the true story of John DuPont, philanthropist, sports enthusiast, heir to the DuPont fortune, and in his own mind, supporter, father figure, and misunderstood mentor to a pair of Olympic gold medal-winning brothers whom he took under his broken wing and managed to destroy.
Foxcatcher is also the well-made Academy Award-winning movie by director Bennett Miller, also known for such successful films as Moneyball and Capote. But the thing that sets this film apart from your other true-story-turned -into-big-time-Hollywood-feature-film is the incredible acting of its three principle players. Steve Carell, best known as Michael Scott on TV's The Office is virtually unrecognizable as John DuPont, and manages to bring to life a stunning, and scary representation of this man who lived a life of unbelievable privilege, only to destroy himself and those he 'cared for'.
Without giving too much of the plot away - which anyone can research online to discover for themselves - John DuPont was a rich reclusive man who lived on a sprawling estate in Pennsylvania, where he did his best to follow in his family's footsteps of those who have too much money to know what to do with. Living under the shadow and scrutinizing eye of his distant and unsupportive mother, John decides to make his mark in the world and invest in America, at least the way he sees it, by having several of the best Olympic wrestling hopefuls live and train on his estate. His intentions are good. His actions, not so good.
Channing Tatum stars as the younger brother Mark Schultz, who wants nothing more than to be the best wrestler he can be. And after living under the shadow of his older successful wrestling brother, he jumps at the chance to take DuPont up on his quest to be all that he can be. These two lost souls seem to be just what the other one needs. John can help Mark to become the successful wrestler Mark doesn't see himself as being, and Mark can help John to attain the goal of being a successful coach and mentor to Mark. Unfortunately, things do not go as planned by either men. Eventually, John persuades his brother Dave to join him at the DuPont estate, not so much as a catalyst for helping his brother Mark, but more as a snub. Dave sees this as a chance to provide for his growing family. Little did he know, this would be the worst decision of his life.
My only problem with this film was the lack of details as to why John duPont was driven to do what he did. Dealing with a true story, where much more details surrounding the motivations of a man like DuPont could have provided a much more interesting character, we feel a bit shocked and confused by his eventual action at the end of the film. More scenes of John DuPont leading up to his unraveling could have been helpful in giving us a better understanding of a man who, seemingly had everything, never really had whatever it was he really wanted. A truly tragic story.
5 stars for the acting
4 stars for directing
3 stars for the story