Foxcatcher Movie Left to right: Steve Carell as John du Pont and Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz Photo by Scott Garfield, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Left to right: Steve Carell as John du Pont and Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz Photo by Scott Garfield, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Foxcatcher has been managing a lot of hype since at least last November, and the release of the teaser trailer has caused quite a stir. The internet is throwing the name around, as well as both Channing Tatum‘s and Steve Carell‘s, connected with ideas like “Oscar contender,” and “Award worthy,” and while the trailer gives hope for a solid film, I have to wonder exactly where all the love is coming from.

To be fair, a lot of the discussion is obviously coming from people who have seen the film (it was at Cannes), but a lot of it is also coming from people who haven’t. The trailer gives us a Channing Tatum who stares very seriously, smacks himself across the face, and bashes his head into a mirror. Steve Carell is wearing a lot of latex on his face, and says, “Good,” while apparently doing a kind of Godfather impression. Does that lead anyone to believe we have a great movie on our hands, or great acting performances? Apparently. But, why? We all know there is a certain predisposition toward thinking that any tortured, brooding acting is somehow good acting, but still.

Is there just something about the story? I wonder, because you really have to bring the story to the trailer. You don’t get much in the way of serious detail about what happens, and what is going to happen, just from the trailer. Even if you know the story, is it that great? It’s certainly rather fascinating, and something that makes an interesting story, but is it the kind of story that will really hold you for a feature-length run time? How long can you watch crazy rich guy?

Take a look at the trailer below, and let me know what you think. Does this trailer hook you? Does it convince you that this is going to be a really great movie that should be in people’s minds whenever they take about movie awards this year?

Foxcatcher Movie Left to right: Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz and Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz Photo by Scott Garfield, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Left to right: Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz and Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz
Photo by Scott Garfield, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

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Based on true events, FOXCATCHER tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers.

When Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to move on to the du Pont estate and help form a team to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics at his new state-of-the-art training facility, Schultz jumps at the opportunity, hoping to focus on his training and finally step out of the shadow of his revered brother, Dave (Mark Ruffalo). Driven by hidden needs, du Pont sees backing Schultz’s bid for Gold and the chance to “coach” a world-class wrestling team as an opportunity to gain the elusive respect of his peers and, more importantly, his disapproving mother (Vanessa Redgrave).

Flattered by the attention and entranced by du Pont’s majestic world, Mark comes to see his benefactor as a father figure and grows increasingly dependent on him for approval. Though initially supportive, du Pont’s mercurial personality turns and he begins to lure Mark into an unhealthy lifestyle that threatens to undermine his training. Soon du Pont’s erratic behavior and cruel psychological game-play begin to erode the athlete’s already shaky self-esteem. Meanwhile du Pont becomes fixated on Dave, who exudes the confidence both he and Mark lack, knowing that these are things even his money cannot buy. Fueled by du Pont’s increasing paranoia and alienation from the brothers, the trio is propelled towards a tragedy no one could have foreseen.

FOXCATCHER is a rich and moving story of brotherly love, misguided loyalty and the corruption and emotional bankruptcy that can accompany great power and wealth. As with Academy Award® nominee Bennett Miller’s previous feature films, CAPOTE and MONEYBALL, he explores large themes in society through his complex character portraits of real people.

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FOXCATCHER – In Theaters November 14, 2014

Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller and Anthony Michael Hall
Directed by: Bennett Miller
Written by: E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman


 

Foxcatcher Teaser Trailer

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Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.