Bennett Miller's 'Foxcatcher' with Steve Carell, Channing Tatum becomes first Oscar contender after Cannes screening

By Daniel S Levine,

After its world premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival over the weekend, critics have been raving about Bennett Miller’s new film Foxcatcher, proving that the man behind Capote and Moneyball has made another film likely to get a slew of Oscar nominations.

Foxcatcher, like Moneyball and Capote, is a true story about men obsessed with making a difference. Here, it is millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell), a wealthy heir convinced that he can save American wrestling before the 1988 Summer Olympics by training brothers Mark (Channing Tatum) and David Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), even though Mark medaled during the previous Olympics. It’s a shocking, dark tale that ends in the 1996 murder of David.

The acting of Steve Carell is what is capturing the most attention. According to Variety’s review, the Office and 40-Year-Old Virgin star is practically unrecognizable in this dramatic role. But Variety also notes that Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo give fantastic performances as well.

The Hollywood Reporter praised the “superb” script by E. Max Frye (Something Wild) and Dan Futterman (Capote), which “scores strongly on several fronts.”

One thing that some critics are picking up on, including Indiewire, is that, despite its running time, the film needs every part of the script to work. The movie runs 134 minutes, but the script is “brilliantly economical,” Indiewire notes.

Sony Pictures Classics is releasing the film on Nov. 14, in the heart of awards season. Like Capote and Moneyball before, Foxcatcher is looking poised to snag a number of Oscar nominations.

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