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Monday, May 19, 2014

Here's the New Movie that People are Calling an "Oscar Contender"

Left to right: Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum in FOXCATCHER
I love that we are eight months away from next year's Oscars and people are already trying to claim their awards contenders. I mean, I was hoping we could all veg out on a strict popcorn flick diet that the summer offers before we dive right back into the blood sport of awards debating. No? We have to talk about it now? Um, ok.

In that case, the Cannes Film Festival activities are in full effect this week and with it has come a bevy of casting news and hyperbolic reviews (i.e. Nicole Kidman's Grace of Monaco is "the worst" movie and "Channing Tatum can be up for an Oscar" for FOXCATCHER). Let me let that marinate with you for a minute: CHANNING. TATUM. OSCAR. NOMINEE.

You mean to tell me that the dude from Magic Mike and 21 Jump Street (and the forthcoming 22 Jump Street, and the inevitable 23 Jump Street and 24 Jump Street) may be nominated for an Oscar? LOLOLOLOL Well, this I have to see.

The Hollywood heartthrob has quite a devoted fan base, which tends to translate to, he's a great actor and deserves ALL the roles. But I 'm not here to knock the hustle. I hope to be pleasantly surprised by his performance in the film, which also stars Steve Carrell (another actor I haven't really taken to). Tatum stars as real-life Olympic champion wrestler Mark Schultz and Carrell plays his super intense coach, John du Pont. Here's more:

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.

I'm not going to lie: that's a compelling synopsis and I am really intrigued to see it now. Although, I really didn't love Miller's Moneyball and have been generally unimpressed with the recent batch of sports films. Ruffalo, who I noticed is mysteriously absent from the ongoing awards fodder currently enveloping the film, also looks good in the clip (below). Also, I didn't even noticed Carrell, who's virtually hidden behind a mound of makeup. Hmmm...this could be interesting.

Watch the teaser trailer:

And check out a new clip from the film:

FOXCATCHER is in theaters November 14th. 


Anonymous said...

Come on...Oscar talk generates as soon as the ceremony ends, even before! That's the joy of Oscar watching :-) Tatum has been my big prediction since last year, when Foxcatcher was supposed to be a 2013 release. His reviews are pretty outstanding, and the role is the sympathetic co-lead and it's said that he carries the film really well. If he go Supporting (which is most likely will, against Carell's showier co-lead) then I can easily see him an Oscar nominee, like his buddy Jonah Hill.

Daniel said...

When I'd first heard of this film I was interested but didn't have any idea it'd start getting Oscar buzz. It's an interesting cast that could very well surprise us, Carrell has shown range before but Tatum, hmmm I'll wait and see.

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