The majority of the Oscar buzz coming out of Cannes for Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher has been unsurprisingly centered around Steve Carrell’s transformative work as insane wrestling magnate John du Pont. But Channing Tatum’s supporting work as Olympian Mark Schultz is accumulating raves too and could mark another milestone for the actor once largely regarded as a brainless hunk. The question: is this really so surprising?
Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan says that Tatum “goes deep” in his performance as the brooding Schultz, and that his “hunched, defeated shoulders and self-loathing stares in the mirror tell you everything Mark would never dare to say out loud,” comparing Tatum’s work to Jared Leto’s surprise run to Oscar success last year in Dallas Buyers Club.
Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson was similarly wowed, saying Tatum’s was “the real performance to talk about” in the film. “Were it not such a hacky thing to say in a movie review, I might be tempted to call his performance a revelation,” he adds.
Gonna be weird when Channing Tatum wins an Oscar!— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) May 20, 2014
Tatum is following the career trajectory of many a marquee idol—first he was the former male model who danced and punched his way through confections like Step Up and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, then he made a name for himself in comedy with his excellent work in The Dilemma and 21 Jump Street, and with Magic Mike and White House Down he’s become an A-list movie star. This is often followed by some “serious” acting jobs, and Foxcatcher notches nicely into that category.