Happy New Year everyone! I hope all of you have a fantastic 2009! For me, this new year will mean lots of new things... including a brand new house that my family and I will hopefully be moving in to this month. Very exciting! I have nothing really profound to say about the new year, other than make it the best it can be!
One of the topics on the morning news on this New Year's Day was Academy Award speculation. Which got me thinking about a movie I watched last week. It's called "The Wrestler", and it's out in limited release, so you may have to search to find a place that's showing it. It's the story of a 50-something former wrestler, who in the 1980's had quite the hey-day. However, as he aged, his attempts to keep up the lifestyle and maintain his celebrity status took its toll on his health and his relationships. It's an interesting look at an often misunderstood profession... who knew wrestling opponents actually tried to protect each other in the ring? I've read reviews that called this movie a poignant look at the blurred lines between performing and being and a a movie with as much heart as raw talent and more meat than Rocky. It was not the kind of movie I'd normally choose for myself, but I'm so glad I did. It's a heartbreaking and eye-opening look at people who do what they have to do, but never get a break and are never able to climb the ladder and reach the middle class.
Mickey Rourke's performance was stunning, and for anyone who remembers him and appreciates his performances in movies such as 9 1/2 Weeks, Angel Heart, or A Prayer Before Dying, prepare for a new Mickey Rourke, but with hints of that boyish charm we fell in love with in the 1980's. He doesn't look the same, but there are moments when, in his eyes, you catch glimpses of of John from 9 1/2 weeks or Charlie from The Pope of Greenwich Village. It's sometimes painful to watch what he goes through, what he looks like, but Rourke is simply beautiful in this movie, inside and out, and that is something I never thought I'd say about a professional wrestler (or rather, an actor playing a professional wrestler).
The Oscar buzz you're hearing for Mickey Rourke and this film? TOTALLY deserved. I'll be rooting for him on Oscar night. Check out one of the more riveting scenes from the movie on You Tube, and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.