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Trivia / Goofs
Times of India
Thanks to his inherited fortune, John du Pont (Carell), cold and self-obsessed, can afford to indulge his eclectic whims, from ornithology and philately to freestyle wrestling. He wants to train his 'Team Foxcatcher' (named after his mother's horse-racing stable) to win big at the 1988 Olympics and enlists Olympic gold medallist brothers Mark and Dave Schultz to help achieve this.
Mark (Tatum) and John reside at either end of the wealth spectrum. Mark has a wrestling gold from the 1984 Olympics and John, scion of the enormously loaded du Pont family, has a sense of hollow self-importance that sounds almost ridiculous if it weren't laced with a fairly apparent feeling that he is rather odd fellow with creepy mannerisms.
Mark is flown to John's estate in Pennsylvania and asked to train for the Olympics - gold and nothing less, mind you. He is put up in a chalet offering him every luxury, except any female company. Both men, however, are lonely and therefore, for a while, they soon become best mates - two individuals who commonly crave an elusive, inner sense of lasting accomplishment.
Dave (Ruffalo, excellent) later senses his brother is uneasy about something and flies to John's estate to train and more importantly, look after Mark. John meanwhile, desperately but quietly craves his mother's (Redgrave) approval. She loves horses but turns up her nose at wrestling, calling it a 'low' sport. John's derision for all things equestrian is apparent when, during one champagne-soaked evening, he yells to Mark: "They only eat and shit!"
The Carell-Ruffalo-Tatum trio put in terrific, edgy performances. Tatum thrills in his most mesmerizing performance to date as a hulking man-child who is emotionally stunted. But it's Carell's (otherwise known for his comedy roles) impeccable timing that gives his character a chilling, nuanced intensity tinged with hidden homoeroticism regarding his proximity to Mark. Foxcatcher is aided by a powerful script (Max Frye and Dan Futterman) and is based on a true story. The tale is no doubt an unsettling one... and yet, you'll not want to miss a second.
The famous du Pont last name belongs to one of the wealthiest families in American history. John du Pont grew up on the Foxcatcher Farm, originally established by his parents as a thoroughbred racing stable.
Tatum actually broke a mirror during one scene late in the movie. He also had some intense, months-long training sessions for the movie.
The post-production for the film took more than a year despite having no green-screen effects.
Mark Ruffalo piled on the pounds – reportedly as much as 30 kilos – for this role.
Channing Tatum revealed that he and Mark Ruffalo spent an intensive five to six months training for wrestling, which had taken its toll on the actors. During one particularly physical take, Channing insisted to Ruffalo to just slap him which resulted in Tatum's eardrum accidentally getting popped.
Bennett Miller commented at a screening that a rough cut of the film was more than four hours long.
The real Mark Schultz can be seen in one of the scenes. He was also very personable and approachable to the extras in the crowd scenes.
Mark Schultz called this an accurate film.
Various vehicle details in the film – such as the helicopter used by John and Mark’s car, weren't in production at the time of the film.
Mark Schultz is an Olympic gold medalist who took the top spot for freestyle wrestling at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics. Post that glittering moment however, he seems to have come up on some hard times. He lives in a run-down area and eats junk food. He passes his nights playing Nintendo GameBoy after training every day in his brother's gym. In fact, their bond is established early in the film when Mark and Dave spar in the gym. Even after an Olympic win though, Mark still feels that he is in his older brother's shadow. One night, Mark receives a telephone call from John du Pont's estate and is flown to John's family estate in Pennsylvania. After an introductory talk where John tells Mark that he wants to win a wrestling gold for America at the Seoul Olympics and reclaim America's glory on the sporting stage, as he is a patriot, he then takes Mark to a private wrestling training facility that he has built. Swayed by John's speech and charisma, not to mention being surrounded by the trappings of success, Mark accepts the offer. John tells Mark that he would like his brother Dave - himself a great wrestler and even better as a trainer - to also move to the estate. Mark says that Dave is settled back home with his family and won't move, despite any price that John might offer.
Mark is put up in 'the chalet' which is a modest term for a place that Mark would never have dreamed of affording. Soon they strike up a friendship and Mark flourishes in Team Foxcatcher. They win in France at the 1987 Wrestling Championships and win back in the States. Du pont showers Mark with praise and has him accompany him everywhere - even to fundraisers and formal events where he asks Mark to give a speech of praise to John. In the helicopter en route to one such event, John introduces Mark to cocaine to help with his nervousness before the speech. Mark, while initially shunning alcohol, soon dives into it and starts using cocaine regularly. This period marks the high watermark (no pun intended!) of their friendship. We see the two of them so close that they have sweaty wrestling practice sessions together and Mark even trims John's hair. John then tells Mark that he is the only friend he ever had. He says he had a friend once during childhood but that ended when he realized that his mother used to pay that person to be friends with John. His mother is pretty unhappy about John's choice in his latest sporting indulgence. One day, Mark and his teammates in Foxcatcher take a morning off from training to watch mixed martial arts (MMA) on TV. John meanwhile goes to the gym and finding it empty, goes to Mark's chalet where he finds the team drinking beer, smoking pot and chilling during the hours when they need to be training as the Olympics is just a month or two away. John is pretty pissed off at the fact that they have missed their training but also more pissed off by the fact that Mark has been taking decisions about when they should train and when they should take an off. He then slaps Mark calling him an ungrateful ape and says that he'll enlist Dave by any means necessary, no matter what the price.
Dave then moves with his family to Pennsylvania so he can join Foxcatcher. Mark meanwhile is in freefall. Never one who was emotionally mature, his self-esteem nosedives and he begins to slacken, lose matches and grossly overeat. Notwithstanding an earlier pep talk he had received from John saying that Mark should move out of his brother's shadow and build his own life, Mark now pushes both John and Dave away - despite the fact that it is these two who were important support structures in his life. During a training session, du Pont's mother is escorted into the Foxcatcher gym to watch him coach his team. John tries to impress his mother with some basic moves but Jean (his mother's name) leaves in disgust after seeing her son in such close physical contact with a student.
Mark almost loses his chance at the 1988 Olympic Trials in Pensacola, Florida. Deeply angered by his failure, he trashes his hotel room and goes on an eating binge. Dave the breaks into his room and finds Mark asleep and depressed. He gets him out of the stupor, Makes Mark throw up what he has eaten and makes him work out on an exercise bike to lose the 12 pounds weight in 90 minutes that he has gained. While Mark exercises, Dave prevents John from approaching Mark as the latter is very upset with John. Mark manages to win and qualify for the Olympics. John though leaves in a hurry as his mother had passed away. Back at the estate, John lets his mother's beloved horses run wild. Mark then tells Dave that he knows he won't be welcome to live at Foxcatcher after the Olympics and they should leave and head back to their home. Meanwhile, Dave is asked to help out with a documentaty on John praising his coaching qualities. Regardless of his outcome at the Olympics, Dave tells John that Mark needs to be financlaiiy supported. This is done in exchange for John being able to sit in Mark's corner during the match. Mark loses though and the next scene has Dave and family driving back to their home at Foxcatcher base. They are stopped by the security and they learn that they have to move out.
On a cold winter's morning, we see John sitting alone in the trophy room where he first had a chat with Mark and is watching the now-finished documentary. After it is done, he turns off the television set and switches off the VCR. He asks a guard outside if it is still snowing and tells him to warm up his Lincoln Town Car. John then drives to Dave's home, slowly pulls up beside Dave, who is working on his own car repairs, rolls down his window, and asks Dave "Do you have a problem with me?" He then shoots him at close range three times with a .44 caliber magnum revolver. Dave's wife calls 911 and as du Pont drives off she runs outside to her husband who dies in her arms. Du Pont is subsequently arrested and the film ends showing Mark as he competes in a cage fighting match with the crowd's cheers reverberating in the arena.