Just when you thought Emilio Estevez in The Breakfast Club had the monopoly on poignant portrayals of wrestlers, Channing Tatum comes along with his role as Olympic gold medalist Mark Shultz. Directed by Bennett Miller (of The Cruise, Capote and Moneyball fame), Foxcatcher is not just a re-telling of one of the most neurotic millionaires's downfall in recent memory, but a psychological study of the effects of isolation for the majority of one's life.
As the younger brother to fellow gold medal winner Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo, who, in addition to Steve Carrell, underwent a grotesque physical change for the part), Mark has subconsciously felt cast aside and lesser than for most of his life. In spite of being raised by Dave, his only true friend to speak of, his resentment toward Dave's skills as a wrestler intensifies when he's invited by John du Pont (Carrell), heir to the du Pont fortune, to train for the 1988 Olympics on his property, Foxcatcher Farm in Pennsylvania.
Though the real turn of events took place in the 90s, it seems an apropos choice for co-screenwriters E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman (who also adapted Capote) to have set the story in the 80s. As a decade when wealth was revered and lusted after, John du Pont is a character that seems to fit right in with the morals and "ideals" of this time. Suffering from more than your standard breed of mommy issues, du Pont was sequestered from the outside world as a child, with his only friend being their chauffeur's son, who he later finds out his mother paid to hang out with him.
Touched by Mark's genuine appreciation of his friendship, the two become inseparable for a time until du Pont's concerns about winning at the Olympics are intensified by his mother's disapproval over how much money he's putting into a sport that she deems "low" (her own preference, of course, is horse-related sports). This leads him to call Mark an "ungrateful ape" and subsequently pay a handsome sum for Dave to come live on Foxcatcher and help coach his team.
For those unfamiliar with the story (and even those who are), the conclusion of the film is not only shocking, but also completely gut-wrenching. The question of whether or not money and privilege leads to far more depravity and psychological damage than being a "normal" person is raised with stunning clarity, and proves the old Smiths adage, "Money changes everything" (especially your mind).