November 23, 2014

Movie Review: Foxcatcher **

This film should be retitled Napcatcher because you can grab a nice long snooze during the first hour and a half and you won't miss anything. Everyone moves slowly, talks slowly and says nothing; long sequences of boring wrestling and coaching; long black screen shots between scenes, so long I was expecting (praying)  for credits to roll.
Sometimes there's good reason to slow the action down. I see no reason to tell this story so slowly that I looked at my watch five times. Moving more quickly, at least in certain scenes, would have built more tension. Or at least kept me awake. (I didn't really sleep, but not for lack of trying.)
If you snooze, have someone wake you about an hour and 45 minutes in or you'll miss the whole point of the movie. Then you can nod off again for the last 15 minutes.
The acting is terrific; Steve Carell is unrecognizable as John duPont - the makeup artist is a rockstar for that transformation. Carell will likely get an Oscar nod for this performance. I just wish he had a better script to work with.
Speaking of makeup, I wonder at the need for the mouth prosthesis Tatum Channing wore. It was distracting and seemed redundant - just too much of a good thing.
Mark Ruffalo is one of my favorites and he delivers here - he's so natural on screen and always inhabits the roles he's playing.
For the performances alone I'm giving Napcatcher...oops, I mean Foxcatcher two stars. Although the writing and directing (and possibly the editing) gets one star from me.

1 comment:

Dan O. said...

Though it's cold, dark and as chilly as the winter air, the performances are so fantastic that it's nearly impossible to look away from the screen. Even if it is incredibly unsettling. Good review Samantha.