Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Notes on Foxcatcher

Channing Tatum is sad but his nipples are perky.

It seems counterintuitive that a movie with Channing Tatum, Channing Tatum's glistening bare chest and Steve Carell in heavily-touted-for-Oscar role (the only other performances that I recall garnering similar buzz were Mo'Nique in Precious Blah Blah Blah and Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club and we all saw how that turned out) would disappoint me.

Factor in director Bennett Miller (I loved Moneyball) and Channing Tatum in singlets (NOTE: it's okay to refer to them as wrestling singlets but since wrestling singlets are the primary form of singlet I feel pretty strongly that they are "singlets" and all other singlets require modifiers... not that you asked).

While the movie has great performances from Carell and Tatum, a solid performance from what's his name, the third Hulk and some fine editing (the cinematography is lovely but static and Vanessa Redgrave is, mystifyingly, in this movie [seriously, Redgrave is one of my favorite actresses but she had nothing to do here--she played a disapproving old woman {SEE ALSO: my family reunions}... was Jane Alexander too busy? {also a favorite, no disrespect meant to her}]) it ends up as less than the sum of these parts.

I am open to watching it again (at home) to see if I caught it on a bad night (I mean a bad night for me, I'm pretty sure the movie is nearly the same every time). Until then I see a solid contender for Best Actor in Steve Carrell and... his nose (Best Makeup/Hairstyling) frankly that's about it.

It's a darkhorse for Best Picture (thanks to the "up to 10 nominees" system put in place a few years ago), Best Editing  and Best Original Screenplay (more to hedge my cynicism).

Mark Ruffalo (that's his name) is routinely cited as a contender for Best Supporting Actor but I don't get it based on the movie. The category is solid with J.K. Simmons, Edward Norton and Ethan Hawke with Ruffalo and Robert Duvall both receiving nominations in the category from the Screen Actors Guild, the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards. A smarter person would just call him solid for a nomination but I find myself wishing Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) would finally get some respect; also The Judge, with a Metacritic score of 48, just looks like a total piece of shit.

Frankly I think it would have been smarter to submit Carell as supporting actor. He'd still face a tough battle with Simmons but Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Birdman, the black British dude who plays MLK, the white British dude (you know, the one) who plays Mr. Turner, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bradley Cooper, Tom Hardy and that dude who plays James Brown I think he's gonna have to work the circuit just to eke out a nomination.

Long story short: this was NOT the movie for me to see the day after Birdman.

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