I’ve been wanting to re-experience Bennett Miller‘s Foxcatcher for the sake of compassion if nothing else. Give it another go, a fair shake, etc. I wasn’t the biggest fan out of Cannes but I’ve been telling myself it might kick up or play better the second time. But I missed all the invitationals amd I haven’t gotten myself down to a nearby theatre since it opened last weekend. But now I’m 100% committed to seeing it again with bells on and no excuses. Mainly because National Review critic Armond White has written a brutal pan of Miller’s film because he doesn’t like the film’s political metaphor, which is basically about the perversity of the patriotic one-percenters as represented by Steve Carell‘s John DuPont.
If White is this pissed off about Foxcatcher, I must have missed something when I first saw it in Cannes. One way or another I need to see it again and bend over backwards and give it whatever love I can find, if for no other reason than to stand against Harmin’ Armond and bond with a fellow liberal.
White has called Foxcatchcer “an insidious denigration of American behavior [by way of a] dank presentation of sorrowful real-life events. Don’t be fooled by praise for Foxcatcher; this catastrophe includes the widespread cynicism of politically slanted media hacks who celebrate their own America-bashing negativity.
“Not content to portray the vaguely sexual murder through In Cold Blood–style social observation and psychological speculation, Miller pretends to get ‘political.’ The DuPont–Schultz disaster is presented…as evidence of national decadence and decline. With Foxcatcher Miller caters to the Occupy mentality that ‘one percenters’ are the bane of mankind. There Will Be Buggery could be the alternate title for Miller’s true-crime American class-war drama. [The film] defames right-wing affluence same as Miller’s obvious class snobbery miscalculates each characterization. Foxcatcher queers patriotism as the refuge of perverts, and so DuPont, running his own sports brothel at his manor near Valley Forge, becomes the basis for a glum type of tabloid sensationalism. Loony du Pont is how liberals like to typify conservatives: nefarious and comical.”
I hadn’t thought of Foxcatcher as a perverse locker-room cousin of There Will Be Blood, but now White has opened that door. I genuinely feel a certain gratitude for this. Foxcatcher tonight!