The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke
To be honest, I didn't have a lot of expectations for this movie. I don't particularly like Mickey Rourke and didn't really think this flick could be that great and figured it was a lot of hype. It won some awards, though, and then a friend of mine said he'd seen it with his girlfriend and thought it was great.
So I got it and watched. I ended up watching it twice, back-to-back.
Two things stand out in this movie: Rourke is hideous to look at. I don't know what happened to the guy, but he's UGLY now. Strangely, that fits this movie perfectly.
The other thing is the overall cinematography and theme-setting. They try to set the story with some clips of what The Ram's (Rourke's character) life is like, but most of this is actually done through the lighting and locations. Excellent work there.
Turn out that Rourke isn't a bad actor either. The story line is fairly basic, but has a deep theme and strong cinematics. Rourke is in excellent physical condition and the wrestling actually, while well-done, is a background interest in the movie. I doubt he's actually "in the ring" for more than fifteen minutes of the whole film.
Mostly, the movie revolves around the character and those close-in around him. His prospective girlfriend (a stripper), his daughter (who he's neglected throughout her life), and his drug addictions ("juice," various pain killers). And, of course, the cusp of the movie: The Ram's failing health and lackluster career.
Overall, the movie is really well done and totally worth seeing. It's definitely rated R, though, so no kids. There are long nude scenes with the Ram's girlfriend (Marisa Tomei), being as she's a stripper. Nothing overly gratuitous and it fits right in with the plot and movie.
Definitely a movie worth seeing. Go get it!
The great song from Springsteen for the movie (much of the same footage, but the entire 4 minute song included):