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Foxcatcher Completely Misses The Boat

When I saw the trailer for Foxcatcher a few months ago, there was a light in my eye. There’s nothing I love more than a gritty drama based on a true story. Add in some premiere actors and a solid director and you have the makings for a potential run at the Academy Awards. Instead of lining up for awards this winter, Foxcatcher was wildly disappointing on almost every level.

The trailer for Foxcatcher was the real winner, reeling you in with suspense and drama built around a nearly unrecognizable Steve Carell, a completely jacked up Channing Tatum and a bearded Mark Ruffalo. The suspense that built you up through the trailer was a complete no-show in the movie. Director Bennett Miller used an extremely slow moving style, void of sound during key sequences that literally put me to sleep. That lack of sound created a staleness that was hard for these actors to overcome.

Bennett has been an up-and-coming director for a few years now. In 2005 he brought Truman Capote to life and his most recent work was with Brad Pitt in Moneyball. Capote was filmed in a very similar style. It was painfully slow and highly dramatic at times. The difference was the acting quality. It was hard to look away from Philip Seymour Hoffman as Capote, stumbling through his awkward progressions (credit cynthia). Carell just didn’t have that same draw playing John du Pont. His character was so awkward that it became redundant and boring.

Tatum and Ruffalo weren’t all that much better. They were an odd pairing as the Schultz brothers and didn’t have the chemistry needed to pull this role off. The drama in this movie just never built and the climax came and went without the audience caring. The only thing you could say about Foxcatcher was that it was brilliant looking. Cinematographer Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty, Killing Them Softly) did everything he could to make this movie palatable. It wasn’t enough.

This could be the most disappointed I’ve been in a movie since…well…I honestly can’t remember the last time I was this down on a movie. I wanted this movie to be awesome and it missed the boat.

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