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The Wrestler- Film Review


Fox Searchlight Pictures


A steely-eyed lead in the '80s and early '90s, Mickey Rourke stood out first as a good actor in bad films (bedding Kim Basinger in the soft-core psychobabble 9 1/2 Weeks), then as a bad actor in worse ones (Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man). As Randy "The Ram" Robinson, the has-been hulk with a heart of iron pyrite in Darren Aronofsky's oddly poetic The Wrestler, Rourke is transcendent — transformational, even — and he's finally found a movie to match. The picture's intimacy brilliantly subverts its brutal subject matter. Aronofsky's handheld camera rarely ventures more than a few feet from his antihero. Often, it's parked less than a yard behind him, putting viewers inside the Ram's Hoganesque head as he gets lionized by fledgling wrestlers, belittled by a grocery-store boss and roused, touchingly, by Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), a middle-aged stripper and mother trapped in her own losing battle with time. It all builds to a terrifying scene in the supermarket where the man-child's years of emotional and physical torture, his audible grunts and groans, erupt in a shameful volcano, equal parts 'roid-raging id and deflated ego. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

The Wrestler (R)

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood

The Wrestler-

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