Two movies in a row with Best Actor and Best Picture Oscar nominees-to-be might ordinarily be unexpected, but we may “consider” it as a sign that awards season has officially arrived.
As I’ve pointed out a number of times, comedy is tough. It takes a special talent to pull off comedy, and more and more we’ve seen certain, exceptional comic talents demonstrate extraordinary range via the serious role. Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler and Robin Williams come to mind; now it’s Steve Carell’s turn.
Foxcatcher features consummate performances by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, and a creepily transfigured Carell — this is his Man on the Moon. One immediately senses that everything is a little off-kilter — something’s not aligned correctly in this universe. Wealth and privilege are the veneer covering a rotten core in a true tale tinged with The Fall of the House of Usher and The Great Gatsby.
I found Foxcatcher to lag in places, and wished for a more deft hand to eliminate some of the self-reflective moments which contribute little in the second half. I wished for it to be sped up and punched up a bit. But a couple days after watching it, Foxcatcher had stuck with me — that eerie world left a haunting impression. Not Elephant haunting, and not Under the Skin haunting, but haunting enough to increase my opinion from 7 to 8/10.