The “Foxcatcher” movie is a fair recounting of an event that once again proves that truth is stranger than fiction.
Sadly, it feels more like a documentary rather than a feature film. Although the events leading to the tragic denouement are close to the facts, the actors in this drama leave the viewer with a misrepresentation of the true nature of its main characters.
Steve Carell does a great job of playing Marlon Brando playing John Eleuthere du Pont. The hideous nose (too bulbous at the base) seems over the top — so no Oscars for the make-up artist/s — but Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz, should get his first supporting actor nomination from this gig. Channing Tatum has obviously been directed to play Mark Schultz as a brawn-over-brains character — and he does a good job with that — but the real Mark Schultz is not the simple-minded character that is depicted in this drama. Far from it, he wrote the book on which this movie is made, and just wrote another one.
The movie leaves you wanting more. The credits at the end are incomplete in that they fail to mention that: (1) Dave Schultz’s widow set up a club to sponsor and train the stranded wrestlers (for the upcoming Olympics) once the Foxcatcher training facility was no longer available; (2) that 80 percent of du Pont’s estate went to a Bulgarian wrestler, and (3) Du Pont was married for about six months to his therapist, who, in the divorce papers, claimed that he threatened her with a gun.
It’s not clear if the producers were simply capitalizing on a scandal or if they had specific messages they wanted to convey (e.g., too much money — particularly when one didn’t have to earn it — distorts reality), but as I was exiting the theater I decided to: (a) vote for gun control laws that require a sanity check prior to ownership and (b) re-write my will.
—Ekphrasis Rex, Culture Spot LA
Ekphrasis Rex is the nom de plume of an art aficionado who heads an engineering group specializing in green technology.