Monday, May 4, 2009

The Wrestler - 4 Stars

Not being a big wrestling fan, I have to say I was apprehensive to watch this movie. I envisioned the movie to be entirely about wrestling, and though yes it is, it's not constant wrestling matches, but more focuses on the sport from behind the scene. This one time, pro-wrestler has been on the top of the world with his adoring fans, yet behind the macho act, has nothing to show for it. Even with all the abuse his body has been put through, the ring still breaths life into this dying shell of a man. I wonder if Rourke got into this shape for the role or if this his norm. I have to say, he certainly worked his ass off in this role, or so it appears.

Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke), was a 1980's pro wrestler and in the height of his career, drew large crowds and large sales of with action figures and video games. But today, 20 years later, he is barely able to pay the rent. The daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood), he has not seen in years or has never been there for, wants nothing to do with him. The only companionship he has is from a stripper named Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), who he visits and tips more than he can afford. He takes odd jobs, wrestling in small gymnasiums and working behind the counter at the local deli. But when one of his wrestling matches, lands him in the hospital, the doctors tell not to return to the ring or next time could be his last. But when he can't get his daughter's love and Cassidy refuses to settle down with him, his only choice is to take on The Ayatollah (Ernest Miller) in one last match in front of the handful of cheering fans that except him as family.

Awards include:

2008 - The Wrestler - American Film Institute - Best Picture
2008 - The Wrestler - Chicago Film Critics Association - Best Actor
2008 - The Wrestler - Florida Film Critics - Best Actor
2008 - The Wrestler - London Film Critics Association - Best Picture
2008 - The Wrestler - Online Film Critics Association - Best Actor
2008 - The Wrestler - Utah Film Critics - Best Actor
2008 - The Wrestler - Women Film Critics Circle - Best Actor

Protozoa Pictures, Saturn Films, Wild Bunch, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Robert Siegel
Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Nicolas Cage, Scott Franklin
I viewed 4/09

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