As one does during reading period, or at least, as I do, I watched a cool documentary last night. (Reading period is so bleak. Nothing like films about real life psychopaths to keep you from going off the deep end!) It’s called “Team Foxcatcher”, and was just released on Netflix. (Parenthetical thought numero dos: What is it about Netflix giving me so many weird thriller-murdery films to watch…) If you recognize that title, it’s because Channing Tatum, Steve Carrell and Mark Ruffalo just starred in a quasi-fictional, filmic interpretation of the same name.
I remembered that “Foxcatcher”had been nominated for a bunch of awards two years ago, but I really just thought the movie followed the typical rebound-hero plot: down on his luck athlete makes it big, that type of thing. Well, BOY was I wrong. Sort of.
“Team Foxcatcher” uses home video footage and present-day interviews to tell the stories of Dave Schultz, Olympic wrester and medalist, and John DuPont, a theoretically well-intentioned philanthropist. The bottom line is this, and I’m not ruining anything because it was in the Netflix summary– John DuPont starts a wrestling club/commune, where older wresters can continue to train. DuPont invites Schultz (and Schultz’s family) to his massive property, drawing in a bunch more renowned wresters. Then, DuPont kills Schultz.
There are so many more layers to this story. DuPont’s mental descent is incredibly interesting, but equally as saddening. And Schultz’s tragic death seems so preventible. Although it drags towards the end, I highly recommend this doc. I’m hoping to watch the Tatum-Carrell version some time soon!