Despite having my very first really bad day in New York (after basically no sleep, i took the wrong way on my subway line at 8 in the morning, not noticing until I was in Brooklyn, and most horribly I accidentally sat in something that I’m pretty sure was feces while still very far away from a clothing change), I received some redemption when I was treated to a great film in between my comedy of errors and Darren Aronofky‘s The Wrestler.
The Wrestler is a surprisingly simple story about a wrestler, Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), who is unhappily facing retirement. Not without flaws, it occasionally dives too far into convention and cliche (especially in its final act), and works best when its taking place outside of wrestling world and inside the dark, lonely life Randy has built for himself. But overall, it could be easily considered a thoughtfully crafted and intensely engrossing drama that I was really moved by. Nearly every frame of the film belongs obviously and undeniably belongs to Rourke, and he is mesmerizing. Though I fear I’m repeating many others here, Rourke’s is likely be the most lauded performance of the year. He’s funny, he’s heartbreaking, and his physical transformation is incredible.
I’m writing a larger piece on this tomorrow for indieWIRE’s main site but for now enjoy the above pictures and below clips from the press conference after the screening that featured Aronofksy, Rourke and Marisa Tomei (who is excellent in the film as an aging stripper and Ram’s not-quite-girlfriend).