The disturbing story of John E. DuPont's relationship with the wrestlers Mark and David Schultz is played out with precision acting by Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo.
With the help of a terrific makeup job, Mr. Carell physically transforms himself into Mr. DuPont, capturing his speech patterns and body language perfectly. It is unlike anything he has done before and he is mesmerizing. Not to be overlooked is Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz, the Olympic wrestler who comes to train with Mr. DuPont. While he may seem a simple jock, Mr. Tatum is actually doing the finest acting of his career, capturing all the emotions hidden beneath his musclebound exterior. Initially he sees Mr. DuPont as the father figure he never had but the nature of their relationship takes a drastic turn as the story progresses.
Mr. Ruffalo, as older brother David Schultz, may not have as much screen time as his co-stars but he makes the most of it. David is crucial to the story and Mr. Ruffalo plays him brilliantly. Sienna Miller has a small supporting role as David's wife as does Vanessa Redgrave as DuPont's elderly mother. The film itself is fascinating in a tabloid sense. It grows darker and more disturbing as goes and since it is based on the true story, you may already know the outcome.
The music is sparse but there is a haunting theme played repeatedly and the cinematography is outstanding with beautiful Pennsylvania landscapes. The entertainment value here is not in the plot but rather watching three actors at the top of their game. They are the reason to see this film. There will be nominations all around during awards season.