Foxcatcher tells the true story of the Schultz brothers – Mark and David – Olympic wrestlers and their life changing involvement with John du Pont (of DuPont fortune). We meet Mark (a superb Channing Tatum) and older brother David (Oscar nominated Mark Ruffalo) as they train in a rundown dimly lit wrestling arena. Mark’s life is training, training, training – then go home to watch tv, eat, and sleep in a barren apartment. It looks like a meager bleak existence. David is married with two kids and a sunnier outlook. One phone call changes the whole dynamic.
Mark is helicoptered to the John du Pont estate outside of Valley Forge, PA. There he meets the eccentric man who fancies himself a philanthropist, sports enthusiast, and benefactor. He’s created a state-of-the-art wrestle training center and wants to help Mark and others train for the Seoul Olympics under his “Foxcatcher” team name. He offers a guest house for living, food, drink, and a glimpse into the world of the rich. There’s also a dark side of drugs and partying.
John du Pont is played by Steve Carell. You would not recognize him and he’s very worthy of his Oscar nomination. He’s eerie in his eccentricity, temper, possessiveness, jealousy, and bizarre sense of entitlement. He acts as if he owns Mark, and he wants David too. David resists but sees that Mark’s in trouble. David ultimately comes to help Mark, and he gets drawn into the payroll and du Pont circle. But he does not completely drink the Kool-aid, and this drives John nuts. Let’s just say – John with a gun in hand signals the end of the ride.
Foxcatcher is a very good movie. It’s a tad long and I would have edited it down. However, the acting is fantastic and this insight into a murder story is chilling. Money does not bring happiness, and we see not only physical wrestling, but wrestling with demons brought to the big screen.