Steve Carell has had a brilliant career so far, starring in some of the most popular comedies in recent times such a Despicable Me, Anchorman, 40 Year Old Virgin and Bruce Almighty. His performances are popcorn chokingly funny, who can forget Anchorman’s Brick confessing his love for lamp or the newsroom scene in Bruce Almighty. As funny as these characters are, you wouldn’t describe them as ground breaking performances worthy of critical recognition.
Carell has shown a glimpse of a more serious and emotional side in a handful of films, such as Crazy, Stupid, Love. where he has to cope with his wife asking for a divorce, and trying to date again – although this is a comedy there are moments of serious emotion as he tries to drag himself out of the dumps. In one of my favourite films of last year The Way Way Back he plays a nasty cheating step-dad, you feel a genuine hatred for his character as he puts down his painfully shy step-son Duncan calling him a 3 out of 10; being able to create such an unlikable character after playing such loveable characters such as Andy from 40 year old virgin is very impressive. He also steals the show in Little Miss Sunshine where he plays the depressed and suicidal Frank. These roles show he is a much more diverse and talented actor than people give him credit for.
After those glimpses of a more serious role he is now about to show us the full thing in his upcoming film Foxcatcher which sees him play wrestling sponsor, multimillionaire and paranoid schizophrenic John DuPont. It seemed a very random casting decision from director Bennett Miller, who admitted he only considered Carell after a lunch with him, and quoting “I think all comedians are dark”. I think Miller is right; there are many comic actors that are perceived in a benign way, who do actually have a more serious dark side. The best example of this is the late Robin Williams; his serious and darker roles were played brilliantly, in particular Good Will Hunting and One Hour Photo.
So far we only have the trailers and hearsay to go by, but many people are now lining him up to win an Oscar… Here is the trailer, comment and share your thoughts, does it look like an Oscar worthy performance?