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One of the most anticipated late-year releases, Bennett Miller’s true crime story Foxcatcher was almost certainly going to show up in the Oscar race, as the Academy was very kind (in nominations) to both of Miller’s previous features, 2005’s Capote and 2011’s Moneyball. But it doesn’t look like that’s the case anymore, Sony Pictures has announced that they are pushing the planned December release of Foxcatcher off until 2014. This is the point in which I jump up and down, beating my chest, yelling, “Are you kidding me?”
In Foxcatcher Steve Carell stars as John du Pont in the most atypical role of his career. Du Pont, he of an extremely wealthy family, was a Pennsylvania ornithologist and sports fan who sponsored USA Wrestling and eventually built an amateur wrestling compound in Newtown Square, Delaware. He allowed his friend and world champion wrestler David Schulz, played by Mark Ruffalo in the film, to live on the grounds with his family. David and his brother Mark Schultz, played by Channing Tatum, were the only two brothers to with both Olympic and World Championships. But while training for another Olympic run with “Team Foxcatcher,” tragedy struck.
A tragedy at the time, it didn’t seem ripe material for a feature, but a trailer-- which has sadly already been removed from the Internet-- proved that it could be completely chilling. Films based on true stories like this are always harder to watch, since the ending is already set in stone. But du Pont was apparently suffering from a slowly forming mental breakdown, and it’s going to be really fun to watch Carell chew those scenes up. Affecting whatever accent he’s got going on, it’s eerie hearing him say lines like, “I am a patriot,” and “A coach has great power on an athlete’s life.” I mean, just look at him! He’s as far away from Michael Scott and Maxwell Smart as he could be.
I can’t say as much for Ruffalo or Tatum, since they’re given limited dialogue in that quick trailer. But they both look right at home, especially Tatum, who looks to be giving it 110% meathead power.
So it probably won’t be premiering at the AFI Fest in November, and it’s a shame that there isn’t even a planned date in 2014 for us to look forward to. The filmmakers apparently wanted more time to get the film just right, but one has to wonder what this film’s post-production entails. The only thing sitting in the December 20 spot right now is Achorman: The Legend Continues, so Foxcatcher had a good chance of pulling in some bank before Christmas.