December 10, 2016

Foxcatcher will debut at Cannes and might be on a collision course with Oscar

foxcatcher Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo

About a month ago, I wrote a piece here that speculated on some of the Academy Award hopefuls that might be debuting at the Cannes Film Festival. Well, the lineup for Cannes has been announced (at least the preliminary list of titles…look for some movies to be added in the coming weeks), and while a few flicks I mentioned in that article like The Homesman, How to Catch a Monster, and Maps to the Stars are set to unspool in France, the film that probably is the most anticipated, especially in terms of awards potential, is Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher. In fact, I’ve listed it as a Best Picture frontrunner in my Oscar predictions, if you haven’t already noticed.

In case you’re not up to speed on this movie, it’s obviously directed by Miller based on a script from Dan Futterman and based on a true story. The plot surrounds Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz and how, while training with paranoid schizophrenic millionaire John duPont, Schultz’s brother, Olympic Champion Dave Schultz, was killed by duPont. The cast is led by Steve Carrell as duPont, Mark Ruffalo as Dave, and Channing Tatum as Mark, with Anthony Michael Hall, Sienna Miller, and Vanessa Redgrave in supporting turns as well. That’s pretty baity stuff if I do say so myself, especially in terms of the potential it holds for Carrell and Ruffalo.

Miller has so far been perfect at getting his films into Best Picture lineups, with both Capote and Moneyball scoring citations. This is also a passion project of his, which could put an extra chip on his shoulder to really nail this one. He’s also gotten multiple performers of his nominated each time out (along with his screenplays getting nominated both times to go along with one Best Director nomination for himself as well), so the odds are really in this cast’s favor. Assuming the debut at Cannes goes well, it’d be pretty foolish to bet against this one not turning into a major awards player.

So, what are the odds of Foxcatcher going from Cannes to the Oscar ceremony? Well, it’s not incredibly uncommon, though winners are a bit more on the rare side. The last movie to pull that off was No Country for Old Men, so while Foxcatcher (along with The Homesman, for example) might not have any statistics out there in the universe to suggest that a strong debut at this festival will lock it into the Best Picture lineup at the Academy Awards, it certainly won’t hurt.

First things first though, we need to see if the flick has the goods. Cannes begins in just under a month, so we won’t have to wait too long to find about about Foxcatcher and all of the other films playing there. Stay tuned for more!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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