If you go and see Foxcatcher and have no idea what it was about other than it stars Channing Tatum and Steve Carell then there's a good chance that you might think that you're going to see a comedy, given that the two stars are better known for their comedy roles, it would be an easy mistake to make.

Unfortunately by the time you've taken couple of handfuls from your bucket of popcorn you'll realise that what you're seeing is a drama with not a laugh to be had in its full running time.

Foxcatcher tells the true story of brothers Mark (Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo). It's 1987 and Mark, a wrestling gold medal winner at the 1984 Olympics, is at a low point in his life. His luck changes when he's invited to the home of billionaire industrialist John du Pont (Steve Carell). Du Pont tells Mark that he has a dream and it's to train wrestlers on his Foxcatcher estate. The reason that he has arranged the meeting with Mark is because he wants Mark and his brother to be the head coaches.

Carell, virtually unrecognisable under his large prosthetic nose, certainly plays against type as du Pont. John Du Pont from the offset is a strange character, isolated from others, everything he does is for the benefit and approval of his domineering mother (Vanesa Redgrave). His money certainly buys him power and the ability to have others do what he wants, in his mind he believes that he himself is a champion wrestler, part of this belief is because he never loses a fight and the reason that he never loses a fight his because his staff slip his opponents a few dollars to take a dive.

As the story unfolds tension starts to brew as du Pont becomes the public face of the Foxcatcher team whilst in private he becomes more and more demanding and controlling of the Schultz brothers.

Foxcatcher is an excellent drama helped in no small part by three outstanding performances from Tatum, Carell and Ruffallo. The problem lies with its little known, in the UK at least, subject matter. There will be those that are put off from seeing it thinking that it's another sporting story, it is undoubtedly a sporting story but what it his more about is the drama of one man’s isolation, madness and abuse of power.



Foxcatcher (15)

starring:Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall, Guy Boyd, Dave "Doc" Bennett


UK Release: Friday 9th January 2015


sonyclassics.com/foxcatcher