It took director Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) a decade to finally make Foxcatcher. Unable to secure funds (astoundingly) after Capote, Foxcatcher was an off-and-on project for Miller, collecting dust and unknown actors upon a shadowy, cinematic shelf (Miller cast Tatum early because he was –ironically- unknown at the time). But Moneyball and a stellar cast allowed the film to finally come to the screen, and for the most part, audiences can be thankful.
Premise: Wrestler Mark Schultz and millionaire John du Pont, collaborate in training for the 1988 games in Seoul – a relationship that ultimately leads to tragic results. Result: A strong, elegant film that ebbs and flows, making a lesser impact than one would expect.
Miller works with writers E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman to deliver an adaptation of the true, sensational tragedy that works on slow-burn from moment one. The film follows Mark Shultz (Channing Tatum) through a miserable existence; an Olympian and former Gold Medalist, Shultz wanders through life with none of the glory we associate with Gold today. Instead, Miller delivers audience’s stark scenes of low-grade humiliation, reminiscent of The Wrestler and The Fighter, where a once glorious athlete slowly succumbs to a moistened, insidious sense of betrayal.