My friends and I were sitting around last night with a fistfull of screeners (when you hang out with Hollywood types, chances are someone is going to have Oscar screeners) and we were trying to decide what to watch. Everything was either too long or we heard sucked, but then we came across The Wrestler. It wasn’t a three-hour plus epic and we all have heard the buzz about Mickey Rourke deserving an Oscar for his performance, but we feared the film itself was going to be little more than a paint-by-numbers Hollywood tearjerker. Still, it won the vote and we popped it on.
Wow. We were wrong. A little less than two hours later, we picked our jaws up off the floor: The Wrestler may be the best movie we’ve seen all year (yes, and that includes Dark Knight – even though all of us are nerds). Admittedly, if you X-ray the film, it does follow a fairly standard structure and doesn’t offer a ton of surprises – but the same is true of Titanic. The Wrestler sucks you into its raw, gritty reality and Rourke absolutely does make you believe he is the lead character; the performance is outstanding and all of us agreed that we could have easily kept watching for another two hours.
Director Darren Aronofsky’s deceptively transparent, nearly-documentary style helps make the world of Randy “The Ram” Robinson seem very real; this, combined with all of the film’s understated performances, creates a believable reality populated by characters that are easy to care for.
Oddly enough, I think Galactica fans are especially likely to enjoy it – the film’s gritty, realistic tone, sense of drama and cinematography are very reminiscent of the new BSG so, even if you have no interest in a movie about wrestling (I know I sure didn’t), this movie will probably work for you.
And that’s really all I need to say, other than you MUST see this film when it opens on December 17th.