So that’s the Best Actor Oscar sorted then. Steve Carrell, that lovely chap from the US Office and 40-Year-old Virgin, has gone deep to play the deeply disturbed, and disturbing, John du Pont, and the results are stunning. The film itself is impressive on many levels, if a little one-note, and not quite satisfying, but Carrell’s performance is utterly mesmerising.
The charming, likeable, warmly funny persona is utterly gone. In its place is a portrayal of du Pont, the heir to a vast chemical fortune, enormously wealthy but painfully lonely. His mother, Jean (Vanessa Redgrave), looms like a huge dark cloud over his life, her disappointment in her geeky, fragile, unattractive son all too obvious. She pours her love into horses, he into the sport of wrestling – horses are stupid, he says, all they do is eat and shit. His love of his pastime is so great he decides to basically take over and run the US wrestling team to train them for the 1988 Olympics. Top of his shopping list is Mark and Dave Schultz (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), brothers who won Gold in Los Angeles in 1984. [Read more…]