"Foxcatcher," the movie that's based on the true story of multimillionaire John du Pont and the shooting death of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz, is being hailed as an early Oscar frontrunner after earning rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival this week.
Critics are particularly applauding the performance of Steve Carell — who plays the rich, but socially awkward du Pont — as a complete departure from the comedic roles he normally takes on, according to USA Today.
"With Steve, this obviously doesn't resemble anything he has ever done before," "Foxcatcher" director Bennett Miller told the newspaper. "It was so far outside of his comfort zone . . . Truthfully, I had never seen Steve do anything that would give any material evidence that he could do this. But I had a vision for it working."
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Variety's Justin Chang wrote that, while Carell's performance
will capture most of the headlines come awards season, supporting efforts by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo are also praise-worthy.
"Tatum delivers what is easily the most emotionally complex performance of his career, hulking through much of the picture exuding rage, surliness, and disappointment, qualities that recede only during Mark's brief honeymoon period with du Pont," Chang wrote.
"And although he's 12 years older than the role calls for, Ruffalo is wonderful as the big-hearted, salt-of-the-earth Dave, always ready (sometimes to a fault) to stand in the gap and defend those he loves," the review continued.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "Foxcatcher"
may be Miller's best work yet, which is saying something seeing as his movies include "Capote," which earned him a Oscar nomination for best director, and the six-time Academy Award-nominated "Moneyball."
"Mesmerizing in its incremental layering of a bizarre, tragic, and thoroughly warped character study, 'Foxcatcher' sees director Bennett Miller well surpassing even the fine work he did in his previous two films," The Hollywood Reporter noted.
"The superb screenplay by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman scores strongly on several fronts: Penetrating the mindset of the uppermost tier of longstanding East Coast wealth, making some very diverse characters psychologically plausible, and revealing in smartly judged stages the sickness of a man mentally ill, emotionally stunted, and sexually stunted," the review continued.
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