Netflix Review •Team Foxcatcher
And so to Pensylvania, the year 1996, and the bizarre world of Jon du Pont, or John Eleuthere duPont, Co. heir to the duPont estate, owner and resident of the 800 acre Lister Hall Farm (so very, very BIG) and a recording between the local authorities and Mr duPont after a man had been shot dead on the grounds. The police want to resolve the issue but duPont is far too busy to deal with this right now (seriously, it’s all on the recording) and the call promptly disconnected, leaving the police a bit flummoxed, uncertain what to do next. Really? Really. A truly bizarre picture, and the opening to this documentary film.
Some background. According to Forbes magazine last year, the duPont’s scored 14 on America’s wealthiest family list, with a paltry net worth of $14.5 Billion. A quick online search on John duPont simply say’s ‘Philanthropist. Athlete. Murderer. Writer.’ Varied if nothing else. A film based on this story, simply entitled ‘Foxcatcher’ came out in 2014 and starred Steve Carrell as John duPont, Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz and Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz. On a side note bravo to all involved on this film, after having watched this documentary, I am amazed more was not made out of Carrell’s performance, which is simply breathtaking, in retrospect, but enough about that, back to the film.
Directed by Jon Greenhalgh (Universal Soldier) aimed to tell the story of Dave Schultz, through the eyes of his wife, Nancy. Assisted by all the other Foxcatcher’s, thy help to retell this fateful tale, but the focus stays very much on du Point, an eccentric, deeply disturbed and twisted man of immense wealth, an awkward individual who became fixated with wrestling (and not being athletic in any way) decided to set up a wrestling team, funded on his own to take to the Olympics (naturally) and tumultuous but genuine friendship between duPont and Schultz.
DuPont manages to play role of victim-persecutor with precision, controlling the lives of all his team who are at the mercy of this Mr Burns-esque type sugar daddy figure, sole financier to these men and their families, all living on the estate, in the oddest family set up since that of fictional character Norman Bates.
What is incredible is the sheer amount of footage made available, for every point, there is film evidence to validate the narrative. Footage of scenery, interviews, tournaments, and people just generally hanging out, it would seem as though their entire lives were filmed for that time spent with duPont.
Team Foxcatcher, a truly terrifying observation of what money can do for and to a person, thought provoking and sincere, a story that will stay with me for some time.
Take a look at the Trailer: