Bennett Miller, whose directorial credits include “Capote” and “Moneyball,” should be considered something of a fictional documentarian in evolution. His first film, “The Cruise” (1998), a true documentary, followed fast-talking tour guide Timothy “Speed” Levitch on the job and in his semi-depressed other life. What gave the film soul, besides Levitch’s outpouring of quirk, was Miller’s ability to tap into the human element of his subject, capturing Levitch (the two went to high school together) at his chest-beating highs and self-questioning lows.
While “The Cruise” was a straight-up documentary, “Capote” (2005) and “Moneyball” (2011) were liberal, adapted spins on real lives and real events, both featuring outstanding performances by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and the latter garnering perhaps the finest performance of Brad Pitt’s long career. Miller’s latest, “Foxcatcher” is dead in the mold of those films, and the indie auteur’s most soul-plumbing film so far. Continue reading