Foxcatcher Emerges As The Year's First Best Picture Oscar Contender

By Sean O'Connell 2014-05-19 08:54:25discussion comments
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Foxcatcher Emerges As The Year's First Best Picture Oscar Contender image
After a brief production delay, which knocked it out of distribution in time for last yearís Oscar race, Bennett Millerís dramatic Foxcatcher made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, and reactions have been overwhelmingly positive.

UPDATE: On the heels of the great Cannes buzz, Sony Pictures Classic dropped this new teaser for Foxcatcher. Watch it now!



Several top critics who were able to take in Bennett Millerís latest in Cannes started throwing around the "O" word. In May. Months before any sort of official awards race begins. Seriously, Tweets like this give me cold sweats, thinking that the annual grind of the lengthy Oscar marathon might actually have already begun:


Talk of anyone "sweeping" an Oscar season before weíve had a chance to see 99% of the movies that should compete is lunacy. It isnít even the halfway mark of the calendar year, and studios regularly back-load their strongest awards contenders in the fourth quarter, so that contending movies are fresh in the minds of nominating Academy members.

But thereís no denying that Bennett Millerís Foxcatcher made a splash in France with its powerful debut. Variety calls it "the sole credible awards-season heavyweight to have emerged from this yearís Cannes Film Festival," and comments, "Despite its hefty 134-minute running time, Foxcatcher doesnít have an ounce of the proverbial narrative fat."

The Hollywood Reporter also praised Bennett Millerís true-crime saga, calling it "a superbly modulated study of a twisted mind with a career-changing performance by Steve Carell."

Not familiar with Foxcatcher? In the film, Steve Carell plays schizophrenic American mogul John DuPont, who enters into a deadly standoff with former Olympic wrestling champion Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) after DuPont murders Schultzís brother (played by Mark Ruffalo). Miller almost had the film ready to contend in last yearís Oscar race, but the decision was made to hold it until later this year. Perhaps it needed tinkering? Perhaps the field was too crowded last year? Either way, Sony Pictures Classics decided to roll it out in Cannes, and the decision appears to be paying off.

However, Cannes buzz doesnít always pan out. Ask Joel and Ethan Coen if Cannes buzz helped their last film, Inside Llewyn Davis, when it came time for the Oscars. Because that film roared out of Cannes with loud awards buzz, and it received zero nominations from the Academy. Bennett Millerís a genius filmmaker who has a proven track record with the Academy, thanks to fantastic films like Moneyball and Capote. Foxcatcher is getting off to a great start, but SPC has to keep momentum going between now and the movieís planned November release date. Hereís a Foxcatcher clip, to give you an idea of the mood, and of Steve Carellís horrific transformation. The movieís eyeing a Nov. 14 release date.


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