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Foxcatcher among Palme d’Or best picture nominees for Cannes Film Festival

Channing Tatum (left) as Mark Schultz, and Mark Ruffalo as his older brother Dave, in Foxcatcher, in the running for the Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival
Channing Tatum (left) as Mark Schultz, and Mark Ruffalo as his older brother Dave, in Foxcatcher, in the running for the Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival
Photo courtesy of InterMatWrestle.com, used with permission

The much-anticipated film Foxcatcher is among the contenders for the prestigious Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) award for best picture at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, according to various entertainment media reports and the official event website Thursday.

Foxcatcher, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “recounts the true story of an Olympic wrestling champion (Mark Schultz) whose brother (Dave Schultz), a fellow Olympian, was murdered by a paranoid schizophrenic millionaire (John du Pont)..."

Directed by Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball), Foxcatcher stars Steve Carell as du Pont, Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz, and Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz, who was murdered by du Pont, the millionaire owner of the Foxcatcher wrestling facility outside Philadelphia, in Jan. 1996.

Foxcatcher is one of 18 films vying for the Palme d’Or award at the 66th edition of Cannes. Among Foxcatcher’s competitors: The Homesman, which IMDB.com movie website describes as “A claim jumper and a pioneer woman team up to escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa,” starring Hilary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones, directed by Jones… director Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, about British painter J.M.W. Turner… and Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall, about 1930s Irish political activist Jimmy Gralton. Famed film directors Jean-Luc Goddard and David Cronenberg are also in the running with Adieu au Langage (Goodbye to Language) and Maps to the Stars, respectively.

Past winners of the Palme d’Or include Taxi Driver (1976), Apocalypse Now (1979), Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989), The Piano (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), Secrets and Lies (1996), and The Pianist (2002).

One other interesting tidbit from the official Festival de Cannes website: In listing the running times for the 18 Palme d’Or nominees, Foxcatcher weighs in at 2 hours 10 minutes.

Foxcatcher, which was filmed in late 2012 and early 2013, has been eagerly anticipated by the amateur wrestling community. Originally slated to open in New York City and Los Angeles Dec. 20, 2013 -- and be considered for multiple awards at the 2014 Oscars -- the movie's release was delayed indefinitely. In March, it was announced Foxcatcher would debut at Cannes in May.

The Schultz brothers are among the most storied wrestlers in amateur wrestling competition. Both earned gold medals in freestyle at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. In addition, each had successful collegiate mat careers. Elder brother Dave Schultz was a three-time NCAA All-American (one year at Oklahoma State, twice at University of Oklahoma), winning the 167-pound title for the Sooners in 1982. Mark Schultz was a three-time NCAA Division I champ for Oklahoma (1981-83).