After a revolution man needs to eat and eat is what I do. Luckily for Rosina and I one of the best vegan restaurants I’ve been to is right next to the IFC theater. Red Bamboo specializes in vegan food that looks and tastes like anything but vegan food. Safe to say we stuffed our faces before our journey towards Times Square and the AMC theater for a showing of The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke.
If you’ve never been to the AMC in Times Square then you should go. Its a monster of a movie theater with 20 something screens spread over like 6 stories. It’s nuts. Every theater I’ve been in has had great sound, great picture, and great seats. Now it’s a little crowded on a Friday night but you know what it’s part of the experience and for a film like The Wrestler which won’t get much play it’s welcome.
Everyone has heard the hype about Mickey Rourke and how he puts on a great performance and this will revitalize his career. Well after the first time watching it I was definitely a little bummed out. I thought his performance was good but it was sad to see in the same way it was sad to see JCVD (which I will talk about another time). Mickey’s performance comes off like a swan song. If I never saw him in another movie I think a part of me would be sad but another part would be happy because he went out on a high note. This is by far the best acting of his career which is supported by great directing and decision making by Aronofsky.
Once in a while you get perfect casting and a big part of that is knowing exactly who you’re casting. It’s easy casting for say a movie about a rappers life when you cast a real rapper or a movie about a singers life when you cast the singer. It’s a huge risk when cast a movie about a washed up actor/athlete (that’s what wrestlers are) with an actor that most people think is washed up and don’t care about. Then for Aronofsky to actually play off of that and the hurt associated with that is gutsy. The film is a mixture of happy and sad that makes you unsure of how it will end and leaves you wanting more. Added to this is a solid performance in a parallel life with Marissa Tomeii and great cinematography. I’ve had a chance to watch it a second time and it’s even better on repeat viewings.
Is it a best picture winner? No. Is it a best actor winner? I would say so, and that is a tough call because of the level of acting my male leads this year. If this performance and film wins it does so because it has heart. In a year full of sad films this sad film actually makes me feel good. Cap it all off with a midnight ride home on a train filled with puke and that my friends is why going to the movie should be an event. How can you forget two bad train rides, a spanish revolution, and a washed up wrestler in Times Square?