Channing Tatum Takes A Turn For The Serious In Wrestling Drama ‘Foxcatcher’


We often talk about the revelation of Channing Tatum’s comedic ability in films like the Jump Street series, but Tatum does not live on laughs alone. He also needs our respect as a dramatic actor.

That respect has been more elusive. Thanks to Steven Soderbergh and his films Magic Mike and Side Effects (to a lesser extent), that respect is far closer than any of us would’ve expected a few years ago.

Olympic wrestling drama Foxcatcher is Tatum’s best shot yet, and it will drop in the heat of Oscar season on November 19. The film also comes from director Bennett Miller, a man who made two well-regarded little movies called Capote and Moneyball.

Could we possibly be talking about Channing Tatum during Oscar season?

It seems possible. As Slash Film says, the Cannes reviews are glowing. Physically, the broad-shouldered, square-jawed Tatum is a fitting choice to portray an Olympic wrestler. That musculature. Those shoulders. The question is whether he’ll portray this wrestler well, or if he’ll look like a wrestler attempting to capital-a Act. The trailer is more teaser, focusing on brooding, jaw-jutting, and atmosphere, so that’s to be determined. Those final few moments are striking, though; hopefully the film has narrative tricks as striking as Tatum’s skull smashing through a mirror.

It’s certainly a film to keep on the radar, especially considering Tatum is supported by capable drama actors Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell (check out his performance in The Way, Way Back if you haven’t already). Watch the grim trailer for the story – based on a true one – of obsession, familial rivalry, winning, and glaring at reflections below.

When Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to move on to the du Pont estate and help form a team to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics at his new state-of-the-art training facility, Schultz jumps at the opportunity, hoping to focus on his training and finally step out of the shadow of his revered brother, Dave (Mark Ruffalo). Driven by hidden needs, du Pont sees backing Schultz’s bid for Gold and the chance to “coach” a world-class wrestling team as an opportunity to gain the elusive respect of his peers and, more importantly, his disapproving mother (Vanessa Redgrave).

Flattered by the attention and entranced by du Pont’s majestic world, Mark comes to see his benefactor as a father figure and grows increasingly dependent on him for approval. Though initially supportive, du Pont’s mercurial personality turns and he begins to lure Mark into an unhealthy lifestyle that threatens to undermine his training.

Tyler Hanan

Tyler raves about movies on the Let The Right Films In podcast. Listen to him make jokes over his beleaguered cohost Kayla St. Onge and their more qualified guests who deserve so much better at Find him on Twitter @tylerhanan.
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