‘Foxcatcher’ makes good on its AFI Fest I.O.U.

A year ago the Oscar race was getting pretty stacked and something – a few things, really – had to give. Bennett Miller's hugely anticipated “Foxcatcher” was all set for an AFI Fest world premiere and then, suddenly, it was yanked from the 2013 schedule. Now, a year later, it's no real surprise that Sony Classics has gone back to the Hollywood event and made good on the I.O.U. The film will close out the festival on Thursday, Nov. 13.

A little backstory on that. The film really wasn't quite where Miller wanted it to be a year ago and a number of different versions were being tinkered with in the editing. Some thought it spelled trouble, but when the movie bowed at the Cannes Film Festival in May and secured Miller a Best Director prize there, any doubts were dispelled.

For me, “Foxcatcher” is one of the year's best films and the one that solidifies Miller's place as one of the absolute top tier craftsmen of his generation. Steve Carell gives the kind of eerie portrayal that haunts the film even when he's not around, and Channing Tatum probably had a tougher task, so much of his character's ambition bottled up on the inside, slipping out in bursts here and there on the surface. Both will compete for lead actor recognition in this year's Oscar race.

As previously announced, AFI Fest will open with J.C. Chandor's “A Most Violent Year” with Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. Other films expected to show up at the fest include Rupert Wyatt's “The Gambler” and Paul Thomas Anderson's “Inherent Vice.”

The 2014 AFI Fest runs Nov. 6 – 13.