CANNES: Steve Carrell Wows Critics In Foxcatcher


WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Foxcatcher,” directed by Bennett Miller (“Moneyball,” “Capote”) examines the period when Du Pont invited and hosted the Schultz brothers, both Olympic gold medal wrestlers, to stay at his estate near Philadelphia and train a world-class wrestling team called “Team Foxcatcher.” Mark Ruffalo plays older brother David, and Channing Tatum is the impressionable younger brother, Mark. Miller follows the time they shared with Du Pont unflinchingly to its tragic end. MORE

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: [John du Pont] looks like a shrimp compared to his powerfully built guest; he has pasty, colorless skin, a high, whiny voice and posture that emphasizes his pear shape. The only assertive thing about him is his protuberant nose, which he invariably keeps pointed high in the air, as might a king. Noticing all this, you suddenly do a double-take when you realize that the actor playing du Pont is Carell. Haughty through money and position, he’s weak in every other way, also seemingly without friends but with a special loathing for his aged imperious mother (a commanding, still stunning Vanessa Redgrave). From the beginning, you can’t take your eyes off Carell; as if by some secret alchemy, the actor makes you believe that his character is an entirely uncharismatic man while delivering a completely charismatic performance. The combination of his thin, reedy voice with frequent heavy silences and odd vocal pacing is thoroughly unnerving. He is so socially maladroit that no one would tolerate him but for his wealth and status, although his speech habits command attention by virtue of their simple weirdness.

Installing Mark in a sumptuous guest house on his enormous estate, du Pont inspires Mark with patriotic statements, how the young man can help America be strong again and how he wants him to win at the forthcoming World Cup games in France, which he does, and then at the Seoul Olympics the following year, for which more young wrestlers are brought in for Mark to train. But it also starts becoming evident that du Pont has something else on his mind. He touches Mark, awkwardly and tentatively, whenever he can in a “manly,” congratulatory kind of way, and tries to make the young man complicit in his hatred of his mother and her horses. He soon has Mark begin to give him personal wrestling lessons, an obvious excuse for constant physical contact, and begins encouraging him to get out from under his older brother’s shadow. MORE

SLATE: Foxcatcher, which premieres at Cannes today, has been on the radar of Oscarwatchers for some time now. It’s not hard to see why. Audience pleaser and (occasional) critical darling Channing Tatum stars as real-life Olymypic champion Mark Schultz; Bennett Miller, who got nominations from the Academy for Moneyball and Capote, is at the helm; and, most pertinently, perhaps, Steve Carell stars in an uncharacteristically dark and twisted role as John Eleuthère du Pont, the athletic sponsor who—historical, heavily foreshadowed spoiler alertkilled Schultz’s brother Dave in 1996. Carell has gone a little bit dark before—as with his suicidal Frank in Little Miss Sunshine—but he has never crossed over quite this far into the realm of creepiness. Just take a look at the menacing eyes and modified nose—and listen to that odd voice—in the teaser trailer that was just released. (A similar teaser was briefly leaked last year, but was pulled down soon after.) MORE

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: Ryan Gosling might have a well-tethered spot as one of the golden boys of Hollywood, but his directorial debut has been viciously slammed by critics, with one calling it a “crapocalypse”. MORE

THE GUARDIAN: It is colossally indulgent, shapeless, often fantastically and unthinkingly offensive and at all times insufferably conceited. Yet it is frustrating precisely because it sometimes isn’t so bad. There is something in there somewhere – striking images and moments, and the crazy energy of a folie de grandeur. MORE

Variety’s Justin Chang excoriated the film, comparing it to a train-wreck, while writing, “Had Terrence Malick and David Lynch somehow conceived an artistic love-child together, only to see it get kidnapped, strangled and repeatedly kicked in the face by Nicolas Winding Refn, the results might look and sound something like ‘Lost River,’ a risible slab of Detroit gothic that marks an altogether inauspicious writing-directing debut for Ryan Gosling.” Grantland’s Wesley Morris was left reaching for scatological metaphors to describe the execrable results of Gosling’s slide behind the camera, tweeting, “If a $200 haircut and $900 shades were given lots of money to defecate on Detroit, the result would be Ryan Gosling’s directing debut.” MORE

DAILY BEAST: Lost River is indeed something of a fiasco, but without the harsh spotlight offered by Cannes it would just be another mediocre movie dismissed as a vanity project that resembles, say, one of James Franco’s weaker directorial efforts. Gosling’s misbegotten stab at prestige art cinema is not without a smidgen of perverse entertainment value; if you can imagine outtakes from David Lynch, Dennis Hopper, Mario Bava, Nicolas Winding Refn, Gasper Noe, and Harmony Korine whipped up in a Cuisinart, you’ll have a fairly good approximation of the movie’s visual style and lofty artistic aspirations. MORE

At this afternoon’s screening, Lost River was far from unloved: it drew applause as well as boos, and some of the more enthusiastic attendees were heard to say: “It’s like nothing else I’ve seen!” The problem is, it’s like everything Ryan Gosling’s seen: David Lynch, Mario Bava, Nicolas Winding Refn, Terence Malick, Gaspar Noé and a splash of David Cronenberg for good measure. But these filmmakers’ ideas and imagery aren’t developed, they’re simply reproduced: think Wikipedia essay rather than love letter. The result is cinema you don’t watch so much as absent-mindedly scroll through, wondering when an idea or an image worth clicking on will finally show up. MORE