Nearly four months after captivating Cannes, Bennett Miller‘s “Foxcatcher” made its American debut with a sensational screening at the Telluride film festival. Miller, who claimed the Best Director prize at Cannes, is a strong contender already in our Oscar odds. He is the pick of five of our 15 Experts and ranks second to Richard Linklater (“Boyhood“) in our overall odds.
And Steve Carell — who plays schizophrenic millionaire John du Pont who murders one of the two brothers (Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum) that he coaches in Olympic wrestling — sits atop our Best Actor chart.
Miller’s first two feature films — “Capote” (2005) and “Moneyball” (2011) — both contended for Best Picture with the former winning the Best Actor prize for Phillip Seymour Hoffman. “Capote” also screened at Telluride, before going on to Toronto where it wowed both industry and public audiences. Dan Futterman, who reaped an Oscar nomination for his adapted screenplay for “Capote,” crafted the “Foxcatcher” script with E. Max Frye (“Band of Brothers”).
Miller has slightly tweaked “Foxcatcher” since it screened at Cannes. Perhaps he did this to break the curse that befell the other five fellows who picked up the helming prize at Cannes and went on to contend at the Oscars; they all lost. Those five also-rans were: Robert Altman for “The Player” (1992), Joel Coen for “Fargo” (1996), David Lynch for “Mulholland Drive” (2001), Alejandro González Iñárritu for “Babel” (2006) and Julian Schnabel for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (2007). Both “Fargo” and “Babel” also contended for Best Picture and scored several wins.
Sony Pictures Classic is taking this hot property to three more film festivals — Toronto, New York and London — before its Nov. 14 release.
Watch the brand new teaser trailer for “Foxcatcher” below.