It's still months away from the true kickoff of the Oscar race, but following the debut of Foxcatcher at Cannes, it looks like there is now at least one horse competing.
It's unsurprising that Foxcatcher wowed audiences the way it did. The film about eccentric, murderous multimillionaire and wrestling enthusiast John du Pont, comes from Bennett Miller who had success with Capote and Moneyball. Even though Foxcatcher was pushed out of the 2013 Oscar field, there was no sense that anything was awry, and nothing apparently is. Peter Bradshaw at The Guardian calls it a "gripping film: horrible, scary and desperately sad."
Though the movie itself is receiving excellent reviews, the loudest Oscar buzz concerns Steve Carell, making a dramatic and prosthetic-laden turn as du Pont. A Variety headline blares today that Carell is an "Oscar lock," with Ramin Setoodeh writing: "It’s not just the physical transformation that’s so impressive. He seems to be living the character from inside his bones. Carell interprets du Pont as a modern-day Norman Bates mixed with Jay Gatsby, and he prepared for the part by studying hours of footage of the real man." Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy says that "from the beginning, you can’t take your eyes off of Carell; as if by some secret alchemy, the actor makes you believe that his character is an entirely uncharismatic man while delivering a completely charismatic performance." During a press conference, a journalist compared Carell's performance to Philip Seymour Hoffman's in Miller's Capote, Vanity Fair reported.