Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Team Foxcatcher - 7 stars out of 10

Team Foxcatcher - 7 stars out of 10

“Team Foxcatcher” is a disturbing look into the disillusioned life of John du Pont.  This documentary works as an amazing follow-up to the 2014 film “Foxcatcher” that earned five Oscar nominations, including acting nominations for Steve Carell as du Pont and Mark Ruffalo as wrestler Dave Schultz.  I don’t know that your average moviegoer or sports fan would have had much interest in this story prior to the 2014 film but ever since, people are fascinated by this surreal true story.  This documentary draws from a number of resources to tell the story to du Pont’s descent into paranoia.  Resources include interviews, excerpts from du Pont’s self-produced videos about Foxcatcher, and chilling footage of him interacting with his wrestlers.  One of the oddest parts of this film is the segment about how his friends would pay off wrestlers to lose matches against du Pont, helping him to operate under the impression that he was more than a bankroller to the wrestling world.  The film reaches a rather poignant point when Schultz’s daughter mourns the death of du Pont, commenting on the contrast between the public sadness when her father died and the public celebration when du Pont died.  It has been very easy to villainize John du Pont but “Team Foxcatcher” reminds us of the humanity of this man and how mental illness can lead to tragedy if not recognized and properly treated.  Just prepare to be unsettled when you watch this one.

[Pictured: A wrestler is paid off to allow du Pont to win a tournament]

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