Carell, Ruffalo and Tatum are a stellar triumvirate in this unsettling and bone-chillingly creepy true story.
Father, Son and the Ghost by Dave O’Flanagan
There’s a moment (one of many) in Foxcatcher where Steve Carell’s John du Pont manifests in shot like an apparition, his face unrecognisable through prosthetics and shadow, that feels distinctly supernatural. While Bennett Miller’s latest film about wrestler Mark Schultz and his relationship with sponsor John du Pont isn’t a horror film as such, it certainly gets under your skin in the same manner. Carell’s wind-up doll-like speech is matched by an unnervingly creepy physical performance, his character inhabits the silence like a primordial creature. While it’s Carell’s performance generating the Oscar buzz – and deservedly so – Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo’s Schultz brothers provide the most compelling and deeply affecting performances of the film. In particular, Ruffalo’s naturalistic turn as the warm, loving and paternal Dave Schultz is the film’s crowning achievement. There are a multitude of metaphors bubbling under the surface of the arresting Foxcatcher, one of which reminds us that even the most seemingly benign evil, is evil all the same.
Foxcatcher is showing on Oct 16th & 17th at the 58th BFI London Film Festival