Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carrell, is based on a true story. Carrell plays John du Pont, heir to the DuPont chemical conglomerate fortune. Being that he is a wrestling enthusiast, he forms a wrestling team and talks Mark Schultz, an Olympic gold medalist into joining Team Foxcatcher to win the gold again. He is also after Mark's older brother Dave, another gold medalist in wrestling, to come coach the team. Carrell's part is the Oscar trifecta - based on a true person, physically transformative and crazy character. I had not heard about this story when it was happening in the late 80s and 90s, but it was interesting and quite entertaining.
Michael Keaton plays mentally ill, narcissistic, washed out actor Riggan Thomson in Birdman. He had been a famous superhero in the movies and is now trying to resurrect his career by directing and starring in a Broadway play. I found this movie uncomfortable to watch - the Birdman persona added insight to what was going on in Riggan's head, but the drumming that accompanied this narration and in other parts was just annoying. The character was hard to like, as was Mike Shiner, another narcissistic actor who is played by Edward Norton. The acting was phenomenal - also starring Naomi
Watts, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan and Andrea Riseborough, but overall, the movie was meh.