‘Foxcatcher’ draws Oscar praise at Cannes Film Festival

Steve Carell
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“Foxcatcher,” based on 1984 Olympic champion wrestler Mark Schultz‘s autobiography, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to reported “Bravo!” cheers from media and early Academy Awards hype Monday.

The film stars Steve Carell as millionaire John du Pont, who murdered Schultz’s brother and fellow 1984 Olympic wrestling champion Dave Schultz in 1996. Mark would go on to write an autobiography, off which the film is based.

Mark Ruffalo plays Dave Schultz, and Channing Tatum plays Mark Schultz.

“Steve Carell is an Oscar Lock for ‘Foxcatcher,'” wrote Variety about the comedy star switching to the dramatic role of a killer while wearing a fake nose.

The Associated Press offered more praise:

While this year’s festival has already seen several films that could become award season players, including Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner,” ”Foxcatcher” premiered with larger expectations — and generally met them.

Not only was the acting lauded, but also the Olympic backdrop, as Variety‘s chief film critic wrote.

Crucially, this meticulously researched picture feels as authentic in its understanding of character as it does in its unvarnished re-creation of the world of Olympic sports in the late ’80s; rarely onscreen has the art of wrestling, centered around the violent yet intimate spectacle of men’s bodies in furious collision, provided so transfixing a metaphor for the emotional undercurrents raging beneath the surface.

“Foxcatcher” director Bennett Miller previously directed “Moneyball” and “Capote,” both of which were nominated for Best Picture.

The film is slated to open in U.S. theaters on Nov. 14, during awards season, after being held from last year to give Miller more time to finish it.

Olympians scattered on list of world’s most marketable athletes

Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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