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The Wrestler
- Mickey Rourke

Overview - At first glance, Darren Aronofsky's THE WRESTLER may seem like a departure for the oftentimes frenetic filmmaker, and in some ways it is. When this story of a past-his-prime performer is compared to PI, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, and THE FOUNTAIN, there is relatively little trace of psychoscientific addiction imagery, hip-hop editing, or grimly elegant peeks into dreams, nightmares, and otherworlds.  Read more...

 
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More About The Wrestler - Mickey Rourke
 
 
 
Overview

At first glance, Darren Aronofsky's THE WRESTLER may seem like a departure for the oftentimes frenetic filmmaker, and in some ways it is. When this story of a past-his-prime performer is compared to PI, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, and THE FOUNTAIN, there is relatively little trace of psychoscientific addiction imagery, hip-hop editing, or grimly elegant peeks into dreams, nightmares, and otherworlds. Comic moments are plentiful. Aronofsky's signature close-ups of faces have been replaced with ones that force themselves into wounds inflicted for visceral spectacle. Much of the time the camera floats and bobs with an observant, almost documentary-like quietness, ethereally following the wrestler as if it were his past, and the viewer may perceive vague connections to a later, lonelier, less legitimate Rocky Balboa. But Mickey Rourke isn't the Italian Stallion--he's Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a man who has spent decades slicing himself open in choreographed fights while adoring crowds roar. Pro wrestling isn't as lucrative as it was for Randy in the 1980s, but he stays at it while working menial jobs because performing isn't just the only thing he craves--it's the only thing that, at 50, he knows how to crave. While courting his one true friend, a stripper named Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), Randy does his best to restart a relationship with the angry daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) he abandoned. But Rourke imbues the image of Randy, ready to pounce from the ropes, looking almost as unreal as the box art on action figure packaging, with an expression of pain, desperation, and joy. It's a close-up that makes two things clear. For one, Randy's charisma is inseparable from the crippling fixation that's kept him alive. For another, THE WRESTLER might be at once a simpler and more complex meditation on addiction and eternal struggle than any of Aronofsky's earlier work.

Cast List

Ernest "The Cat" Miller - Professional wrestler/actor
Marisa Tomei - Oscar Winning American Actress, MY COUSIN VINNY
Clint Mansell - Composer, DOOM (2005)
Darren Aronofsky - Director, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000)
Scott Franklin - Producer
Maryse Alberti - Director of Photography
Jennifer Roth - Executive producer
Evan Rachel Wood - Actress, LITTLE SECRETS (2001)
Mickey Rourke - American actor, 9 1/2 WEEKS
Robert Siegel - Screenwriter

 
Details
    DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 109
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 024543574996
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: R (MPAA) (for violence, sexuality/nudity, language and some drug use)
  • Release Date: August 2014

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Black Comedy
Family Interaction
Live-Action
Personal Triumph
Art/Artists
Classic Fight Scenes
Road To Ruin
Recommended
Character Study
Theatrical Release
Strippers
1980s
Wrestlers
Professional Wrestling

 
Movie Reviews

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Reviews:
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Director Darren Aronofsky's new film THE WRESTLER is a quiet, intimate portrait of a troubled soul -- someone at odds with himself and with life in general whose every ounce of pain and virtue is measured onscreen." - 11/01/2008 Box Office, p.82


3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Rourke doesn't make a false move in this movie....You watch THE WRESTLER in a state of pure exhilaration. A great actor in a great movie will do that to you." - 12/11/2008 Rolling Stone, p.103


5 stars out of 5 -- "Emotionally raw and with a climax that should draw tears, Mickey Rourke gives the performance of his career." - 01/01/2009 Empire, p.60


"THE WRESTLER is like ROCKY made by the Scorsese of MEAN STREETS. It's the rare movie fairy tale that's also a bravura work of art." -- Grade: A - 12/19/2008 Entertainment Weekly, p.38-39


3 stars out of 4 -- "In THE WRESTLER, Mickey Rourke wallops us with a damaged hero who is full of pathos and poignant contradictions....Rourke gives the performance of his life." - 12/21/2008 USA Today


"Rourke brings just the right amount of faded charisma to Robinson....The actor is not playing himself but rather a part powerfully informed by his past life." - 12/17/2008 Los Angeles Times


"[Mr. Aronofsky] makes a convincing show of brute realism. The supermarkets, trailer parks, V.F.W. halls and run-down amphitheaters of New Jersey are convincingly drab, and the grain of the celluloid carries a sour and salty aura of weariness and defeat." - 12/17/2008 New York Times


4 stars out of 4 -- "Mickey Rourke plays the battered, broke, lonely hero, Randy ('The Ram') Robinson. This is the performance of his lifetime....This is Rourke doing astonishing physical acting." - 12/23/2008 Chicago Sun-Times


Included in Entertainment Weekly's 2008 Films Of The Year -- "In this great, tender, brutal, lyrical, and haunting tale of a washed-up professional wrestler still living off the fumes of his '80s glory days, Darren Aronofsky shows you Randy 'The Ram' Robinson from the inside out..." - 12/26/2008 Entertainment Weekly


5 stars out of 5 -- "[B]eautiful, bittersweet and, at times, surprisingly funny....For Rourke, at least, the wrestler is the role of a lifetime, and he's better than he's ever been." - 02/01/2009 Total Film


"Imagining someone other than the beatifically battered Mickey Rourke in the role of THE WRESTLER would be like picturing someone other than John Malkovich in BEING JOHN MALKOVICH." - 12/25/2008 Washington Post


"Elements that might have otherwise seemed cliché...are poignantly authentic in the hands of Rourke and director Darren Aronofsky..." - 04/21/2009 A.V. Club

 
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