Those who are already familiar with the story of millionaire John du Pont and Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz will already know that upcoming biographical drama Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carell as the former and Channing Tatum as the latter, won’t be a happy-go-lucky kind of sports movie. Those who saw Carell’s name attached and were hoping for something along the lines of Cool Runnings should probably look elsewhere.
Carell is best known for his comedic roles in movies like The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Anchorman, but he’s also done his fair share of straight acting, perhaps most notably in the 2006 drama Little Miss Sunshine. In Foxcatcher Carell looks almost unrecognizable in the role of du Pont, and the film has already received a great deal of praise in early reviews.
The first teaser trailer for Foxcatcher had a distinctly foreboding tone and the second was even more ominous, concluding with the chilling sight of Tatum, as Schultz, repeatedly smashing his own head against a mirror. By contrast, the tone of the third teaser trailer is a little more ambiguous, though not without its own sense of underlying disquiet.
Foxcatcher was directed by Bennett Miller, whose previous works include other highly acclaimed biographical dramas like Moneyball and Capote. The film also stars Mark Ruffalo as Mark Schultz, Dave’s brother, and Sienna Miller as Nancy Schultz, Dave’s wife. The film premiered at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year but is set for wide release on November, which will no doubt make it a strong contender in the run-up to the Academy Awards in 2015.
Foxcatcher certainly has the critics on its side so far, with a score of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and 91% on Metacritic, but Miller’s previous films have ‘suffered’ from multiple Oscar nominations, but a lack of Oscar wins (with the exception of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Capote win). Putting aside awards discussion, however, Foxcatcher definitely looks like it could be one of the best drama films of the year. Watch it in theaters if you can, but brace yourselves for a rough ride.
Foxcatcher opens in U.S. theaters on November 14th, 2014.