The Wrestler
The Wrestler Director: Darren Aronofsky


A deceptively conventional storyline from Darren Aronofsky boasts just the right amount of edge - and, surprisingly, humour - and a performance Mickey Rourke was born for.

This Rocky-style drama is always travelling down familiar genre tramlines but never leadenly so. Randy 'The Ram' Robinson (Rourke) was a champion professional wrestler in the 1980s. Now, two decades later, he stacks shelves in a local supermarket's warehouse and makes some cash performing pantomime-like fights in local schools and gyms for wrestling fans.

It soon becomes clear, however, that these aren't just money-making arrangements for the shattered ex-champ - the ring is the only place of comfort to him in a world he finds bewildering. Unlike many similar characters in the same exchamp genre, The Ram never actively looks for the viewer's pity, and the pathos element is played down.

What viewers haven't seen before in this genre is the professional wrestling element and Aronofsky and his team (eight credited stunt co-ordinators) deliver just the right amount of action here.

WRESTLER is the winner of the Venice Film Festival 2008.


Festivals and awards: Venice (Best Film - Golden Lion), Toronto, Vienna
Links:

Programme: Screen International Critics' Choice

Country: USA
Year: 2008
Length: 105
Language: English
Producer: Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin
Screenplay: Robert Siegel
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cinematography: Maryse Alberti
Music: Clint Mansell
Editor: Andrew Weisblum

Cast: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood

Producer: Protozoa Pictures


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Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky (b. 1969, New York, USA) studied live-action and animated film at Harvard University. His feature films include "Pi" (1998), which won the dramatic directing award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, and "Requiem for a Dream" from 2000 which earned Ellen Burstyn a best actress Academy Award nomination that year. WRESTLER is Aronofsky forth feature film.

Pi (1998), Requiem for a Dream (Reekviem unistusele, PÖFF 2000), The Fountain (2006), The Wrestler (2008)


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