Movies of the week: Foxcatcher and Rosewater

This week at the movies we see two occurrences that have never been seen before. One is a potentially career-defining acting performance by veteran comedian Steve Carell, in Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher. Carrell plays John Du Pont, a millionaire with peculiar behavior who suddenly desires to make his mark in Olympic history, by opening up his established estate to wrestling Gold Medalist Mark Schultz and begin a training program that could possibly bring Mark out of his brother Dave’s shadow, but the relationship between these three men, would like to ultimately tragic circumstances.

What am I expecting to see?: Academy Award nominated director Bennett Miller’s last two directorial outings have won me over and this film looks like it is the darkest and most dramatic film of the year. Steve Carell is said to be the front-runner to give the best acting performance of the year. The supporting cast, including Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, look equally intense in their performances as well. As someone who isn’t entirely familiar with the story behind Foxcatcher, I’m interested to see how screenwriters E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman approach this story. I’ve had my radar set for Foxcatcher for a while now and I think this movie could raise the bar for the cinematic class of 2014.

Jon Stewart is a funny guy. I’ve seen a few episodes of The Daily Show from time to time and I admit, I’ve laughed and learned about some things. When I saw the trailer for his directorial debut Rosewater, I was intrigued. Based on the memoir by Maziar Bahari, Rosewater stars Gael García Bernal as Bahari, an Iranian journalist who returned to his homeland to cover the 2009 presidential elections, that escalated towards a turbulent outcome. For his profession, Bahari was detained by the Iranian government on the charges of espionage against the Iranian government and was left at the hands of a ruthless interrogator code-named: Rosewater.

What am I expecting to see?: Rosewater intrigues me because not only is it Jon Stewart trying his hand at directing a motion picture, but the story based on Bahari’s accounts as a detainee, under arrest because of his profession. The cast of the movie, including Bernal, Kim Bodnia, Demitri Leonidas, Claire Foy, don’t exactly look like much but considering this movie looks like it was crafted between Bernal and Bodnia’s character, Rosewater, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to consider that their contributions may not amount to much. Rosewater, looks like a movie with serious sleeper potential and I’m interested to see what Jon Stewart is capable of as a filmmaker.

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