FOXCATCHER, The Text Message Review

I want to talk to you about how he (director Bennett Miller) framed this film in a cinematic story. The first half we are with Mark Shultz (Channing Tatum). We see what he sees. How he observes life etc..? He’s in every single scene. Then at the half-way point we begin to see the world from John du Pont’s (Steve Carell) perspective. His strange, if not mentally challenged viewpoint. And Mark Shultz takes a back seat. Then the last 25 minutes we move to Dave Shultz (Mark Ruffalo) and he becomes the main character. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film told like this before.

– Matthew to friend AM on Foxcatcher

Matthew Toffolo to AK: I have tons to say about this film as it’s been three days since we’ve seen it and I’m still thinking about it. What are your thoughts 72 hours later?

AK: I liked this movie but I have to say that I was aware of its length when I was watching it, which is never a good sign.

MT: So it dragged a little bit for you? Remember the comments after the film from the two guys sitting behind us?

AK: You mean the guys who said they felt like they were literally watching the season’s change?

MT: Yeah. I can go on an elitist rant, but I guess that’s the art of the movies…everyone is entitled to their opinion.

AK: I got a little bored but I might have felt differently if I hadn’t been so freaking exhausted. I had a long day at work.

MT: I loved the pace. But obviously others felt differently.

AK: But I have to say that I LOVED the acting.

MT: Yes, you loved the Ruffalo, didn’t you?

AK: The acting was outstanding all around. But Ruffalo was unrecognizable to me. Very compelling character.

MT to AM: See Foxcatcher?

AM: Of course. Great film. Bennett Miller is 3 for 3 in this films. Capote was terrific. Moneyball is a pure joy to watch, plus it will stand the test of time for decades. And now Foxcatcher. What a dark film. So disturbing and fascinating to watch.

MT: I want to talk to you about how he framed this film in a cinematic story. The first half we are with Mark Shultz (Channing Tatum). We see what he sees. How he observes life etc..? He’s in every single scene. Then at the half-way point we begin to see the world from John du Pont’s (Steve Carell) perspective. His strange, if not mentally challenged viewpoint. And Mark Shultz takes a back seat. Then the last 25 minutes we move to Dave Shultz (Mark Ruffalo) and he becomes the main character. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film told like this before.

AM: That’s interesting. You’re probably right. He told a story almost from an animal’s perspective too. Like we’re still beasts in the wild. Mark Shultz basicially becomes John du Pont’s dog until he betrays him and finds another dog in his brother (his mannerisms were even dog-like). But Dave is an evolved guy and he’s going to be no ones dog, which lead to the tragedy. Even how Dave just called him John and how Mark always called him Mr. du Pont.

MT: Yeah, it’s a fascinating film. Even the ending where Mark is basically an entertaining beast for the masses. Miller’s themes so far in his three films are about people in power positions using other humans as toys for their own games, success, and amusement. John du Pont is one messed up guy. Perhaps one of the most pathetic characters in movie history.

AM: That should be your next list. Top 100 most pathetic characters in movie history.

MT: Perhaps!

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By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival www.wildsound.ca

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