[counter-critique] FOXCATCHER

READ ALSO : a positive review of FOXCATCHER

The story : Mark and Dave Schultz, wrestling olympic medalists, modest and humble, living quietly in their little lives. If Dave balances family and career, Mark, he lives alone, has no perspective other than fight (for the gold medal, as in everyday life).

So when the billionaire John du Pont offers him to assemble a team capable of winning the gold at the next Olympics, he accepts, incredulous. Especially as it is also a power struggle brotherly.

Difficult, in the beginning, or is coming from Bennett Miller. Spectators influenced by the subject and the scene of his previous film, THE STRATEGIST, we imagine, first, a film is detailed and documented, on the fight. The beginning of the movie actually observed so clinical Mark Schultz perform with the gestures of everyday life. A few scenes are stretched, struggles, and also show the work done by the actors to be credible.

Then comes John Du Pont, and starts a second strange part, or is it a question of adaptation perverted by the manipulation : Mark must follow and adapt to John, a character in the air benevolent, but something in the way of being disturbed.

Then, a few elements come to disturb gently, the utopia that Mark was internally built, to finally know and prove to the world, and especially to his brother, his importance.

In effect, The Bridge, by a few details cleverly staged, shows a “slight” psychological disorder, it begins to want to turn Schultz, in his image.

Impossible to identify clearly if there is a oedipus failed – report this figure of the mother overwhelming, or a homosexuality that is repressed, or an inferiority complex, or all three at once, or more. Bennett Miller and Steve Carrell manage to make John’s Bridge is totally nebulous.

Except that this is not the force of subtlety, but rather because these indices of disorders-psych are completely drowned in the middle of the different and LONGER scenes of FOXCATCHER. And yet, there is the subject of the film : the surprising conclusion of the film leaves no doubt.

The big problem of the film is undoubtedly his pace.

Bennett Miller takes the party spread out on 2h12 the journey of a tragic John Du Pont. But it does not work. The boundary between : immersion in the psyche of John Du Pont and boredom is taken from the time Bennett Miller starts to look for the performance of actor in the stretching of scenes. It also shows an excess-formal too much pressed (cosmetic gray, plans are foggy…), and seems to be driven by a consciousness too sure of its own scenario.

His style dummy bored and tired. On the end of the film, it is no more than to repeat what has already been said and illustrated. A loop in which the detail is supposed to indicate the mental disorder and the manipulation of subtle.

This desire to tell the story in detail is in general a form of storytelling that I love, maybe even the one I respect the most because it is a smart way to include the viewer in the decoding process of a film.

For the first time, I note that this is not all. Bennett Miller, like me, seems to be convinced of the richness of this process, but has not the talent necessary for the performance of this technique. It fails to integrate a content-rich and so exciting, and drown this lack of in depth research of performance of actors.

“A film with interesting storyline but little expanded, which hides his lack of wealth by excess, in the performance of an actor and the formal aspect.”

Apart from the few moments, but very well brought, surprising and even funny, where the personality deviant of John Bridge surfaced, Steve Carell the performer’s way too monotonous : normal, it has nothing to say.

Ruffalo, is naturally charismatic in appearance guy, nothing more.

Channing Tatum, himself, is ultimately more subtle than the other two. His character, semi crazy / semi-aware of its stupidity, compensates as he can what his brother and his surrogate father were, power and charisma – The character and the actor the more interesting to watch.

The interaction between these three very different personalities but complementary when it comes to give power to a scenario and take it in a direction that is unpredictable to the screen, not causes unfortunately no real spark, because suffocated by too much navel-gazing : Bennett Miller looks to shoot good actors ; his device before is too much, much too visible.

To summarize, I think that the scenario of the film is interesting, but not sufficiently worked.

Bennett Miller makes up for this by that for which it is recognized (best actor Oscar for P.S. Hoffman, TRUMAN CAPOTE), to find the performance of actors. As a result, a film is unnecessarily long, which could be summarised as a succession of gestures unbearable.


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