The Wrestler (2008)

2015 #143
Darren Aronofsky | 109 mins | streaming (HD) | 2.35:1 | USA & France / English | 15 / R

Mickey Rourke’s Oscar-robbed performance is the primary draw of this drama about a washed-up pro wrestler struggling to make ends meet. As ill health threatens his ability to continue performing on the miserable, brutal ex-pro circuit, he ties to connect with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and woo a kindly stripper with personal issues of her own (Marisa Tomei, in another Oscar-worthy turn).

Unsurprisingly, the director of Requiem for a Dream doesn’t dole out easy happy endings, but does bring a note of ambiguity that is especially effective at the end of a tale which finds mundanity in a strange world and generates unexpected respect for the ‘art’ of wrestling.

5 out of 5

This drabble review is part of the 100 Films Advent Calendar 2015. Read more here.

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