Bloody but unbowed, Mickey Rourke may have been defeated on points by Sean Penn at the Oscars this year, but his gutsy performance in The Wrestler saw him carry off a string of other top acting awards, including a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. That his role as a washed-up professional grappler in Darren Aronofsky’s film resonated with echoes of his own messed-up life only made his success all the more poignant.
Those handing out the gongs to Rourke weren’t just being sentimental, though. His acting in The Wrestler is the real deal: brutally honest, full of battered dignity and so surprisingly touching that by the time his Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson reaches his big climactic speech to his fans even the most hard-boiled of viewers will probably get a little misty eyed. That is, of course, if even they haven’t fainted away from the earlier sight of all the gruesomely violent indignities Randy puts himself through in the ring.
And Aronofsky’s documentary-style camera doesn’t’ spare the gory details, showing us that just because professional wrestling is a fake, it doesn’t mean the pain isn’t real.
Released 1st June.
To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.