The Playlist ranked on their website the 21 best performances in 2014, and they chosen Foxcatcher cast as one of the Best Ensemble Performances.
A couple of years ago, hearing about a lineup comprised of Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, you’d have assumed the film would be some indie comedy: “Crazier, Stupider Love,” perhaps. But time and a director like Bennett Miller (whom we discuss here) can make quite a difference. As good as all three actors have been before, “Foxcatcher” features a measured, minuscule approach to its tale of ambition tilting inexorably toward doom and sees all of them produce career-best work. Carell gets most of the buzz, probably rightly because here he totally remakes our idea of him as an actor, but shorn of outside context, Tatum matches him in a remarkable performance as the wrestler Mark, who attempts to escape his brother Dave’s shadow, only to find himself enveloped by a much more insidious darkness. Ruffalo’s smaller part is nonetheless note-perfect; Dave tries to hang on as Mark is disappearing down the rabbit hole of DuPont’s delusions, and thereby becomes his most undeserving victim. All three roles have their outward quirks: Tatum is beefed-up, blocky and occasionally peroxided; Ruffalo’s hairline is shaved back; Carell sports prosthetics. But all three bring an innate physicality: the wrestling scenes convince; Tatum really smashes his face into that mirror; Carell walks, talks and holds himself differently. Add in Vanessa Redgrave making an impression in just a couple of scenes, and you have undoubtedly one of the great ensembles of the year, though they may not seem like one at the outset, so atomised, and individually characterised are their roles.