Magazine article Variety

Miller's Poetic Shadings

Magazine article Variety

Miller's Poetic Shadings

Article excerpt

It's easy to imagine a lurid, ripped-from-theheadlines movie based on the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz by eccentric Pennsylvania millionaire John du Pont. But that wouldn't be a movie made by ''Foxcatcher" director Bennett Miller, who infuses his work with a cool, contemplative air that he himself describes as "an austere haiku style" - an attempt to say a great deal while appearing to say very little.

In the case of "Foxcatcher," that meant figuring out the repressed, subliminal forces that bound du Pont to Schultz and his wrestler brother, Mark, and which eventually ripped them apart. It wasn't Dave Schultz's murder that first interested Miller in the story, he says, but rather "the notion of people existing in worlds where they just don't belong. I think all of my films have that element. In this case, it's two worlds overlapping, and these guys allowing themselves to believe they are bound in common cause, when in truth they belong to separate ways of thinking and separate classes."

The more Miller dug into that idea, the more "Foxcatcher" evolved into a portrait of a particular kind of damaged American male psyche. "It was apparent, from the very first wave of research, that these guys had father issues," Miller says. …

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