Money can’t always buy you what you want. More importantly, it can’t make you into someone you aren’t.
Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball) did an excellent job of establishing a very unsettling atmosphere around the true story of philanthropist John du Pont, who used his wealth to sponsor USA Wrestling, inserting himself into a coach/mentor role, despite no training and a complete lack of wrestling skill. Taking Olympic medal winner Mark Schultz (played by Channing Tatum) under his wing, du Pont (an amazing Steve Carrell) sets out for gold and recruits Mark’s brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo, who also does a superb job) to help coach the team they’ve assembled.
The themes of patriotism, family, loneliness and desperation to succeed on one’s own terms are very prevalent here. Miller’s direction deserves another round of applause, as his track record is very admirable for someone with so few films to his credit. The acting is incredible (Tatum deserves recognition for the hotel room meltdown), and the music complimented the mood very well.
Based on a tragic true story, this tense drama is well worth the watch.