Will ‘Foxcatcher’ Earn Steve Carell His First Oscar Nod?

The latest trailer for Steve Carell’s upcoming flick Foxcatcher just hit the web, and this one’s even creepier than the last two. The movie, directed by Bennet Miller, has been making noise since its debut at Cannes, largely because of Carell’s dark and dramatic turn in the film. But judging from the look of the new teaser, viewers should be prepared for his performance to generate even more buzz in the coming months.

Foxcatcher is based on the true story of John du Pont (Carell), an eccentric million with a passion for amateur sports, who develops a training center, aiming to help prepare wrestlers for the U.S. Olympics Team. But trouble comes about when du Pont’s friend Dave Shultz (Mark Ruffalo) and his younger brother Mark (Channing Tatum) decide to join the center in an effort to train for another Olympic bid. As he works with them, du Pont’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic and the relationship between all three men takes a dark and violent turn, eventually resulting in murder.

This latest trailer is the first to focus almost solely on Carell as the borderline terrifying du Pont as he interacts with the younger Schultz and the other athletes. The actor looks almost unrecognizable in the teaser, with heavy pale makeup masking his features and a slightly mad grimace taking the place of his usual easygoing smile. “I am leading men, I am training them, I am teaching them, I am giving them a dream, and I am giving America hope,” his character says in the teaser.

Some fans who saw Carell’s name attached to the film were probably taken aback by the intensity of the trailers, having expected something much more lighthearted from the actor. After all, the movie is a stark departure from the upbeat fare audiences are used to seeing Carell in. While the actor has previously proven his ability to handle more serious material (such as with his turn in 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine), he is most known for his roles in comedic films like Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Despicable Me, as well as his perhaps even more notable turn Michael Scott on the beloved TV show, The Office. Foxcatcher is probably his heaviest and most dramatic role yet, and some are already predicting the performance will earn Carell his first ever Oscar nomination.

It seems as if the film has the critics on its side. The movie already earned Miller a Best Director award at Cannes earlier this year and has continued to receive widely positive reviews, currently holding an 88 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In addition to Carell’s potentially career-defining performance, Tatum is also getting attention for his role, which takes him outside of the action genre that moviegoers have grown accustomed to seeing him in. With the flick set to once again hit the film festival circuit in Telluride, Toronto, and New York in the coming months, the attention surrounding the flick will likely only continue to grow.

This wouldn’t be the first time one of Miller’s films spurred award season buzz. The director has a history of producing critically acclaimed biographical drams, such as 2011’s Moneyball and 2005’s Capote, the latter of which earned the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Regardless of whether Foxcatcher becomes an Oscar contender as predicted though, the movie certainly seems to signal a new level for Carell as an actor. The film is set to hit theaters on November 14.

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