Tag Archives: wrestling

A true story

The movie Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, is based on a true story. That’s about all I knew — well, that and Carrell wears a prosthetic nose.

And we all know a fake schnoz can land you an Oscar. Just ask Nicole Kidman.

foxcatcher

After seeing the film, I’m glad I was so uninformed.  This telling of Olympic wrestler Mike Schultz’s relationship with his sponsor, millionaire John du Pont, is so slow and deliberate that I might have lost patience if I had known how it was going to end.

But the performances — not the plot — are the reason to see this film.  All three actors disappear into these characters who, with the exception of Ruffalo, struggle with varying shades of mental illness and mommy issues.

And when actors who usually take pratfalls raise their game to this level, you simply have to see it.

Fair warning — you may never look at Michael Scott the same way again.

 

Hit the mats

On my birthday Monday, I played hooky and went to see Win Win, Paul Giamatti’s latest movie.

It’s a wrestling film.

Now, what I know about wrestling — well, I don’t know anything about wrestling.  We didn’t have the sport at my tiny high school, and I never attended a match during college.

(I’m not even sure my college had a wrestling team.)

I went to see Win Win based solely on the cast.  Paul Giamatti.  Bobby Carnavale.  Amy Ryan.

And like many of the men who no doubt were coerced into seeing Black Swan even though they had no interest in ballet, I just hoped there wasn’t too much wrestling in Win Win.

Well, there was.  Lots of it.  And while at first I was distracted by the whack uniforms and unusual moves, the wrestling matches were kinda fascinating…and reinforced the movie’s message about what winning and losing are all about.

The performances are really special, too.  I didn’t feel like I was watching a movie as much as being a bit of a voyeur in a family’s life and personal problems.

And they do have a few problems, this family.  But seeing how they resolve them?

That’s the win-win.