Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei are both nominated for Golden Globes for their acting in The Wrestler.  Now, I can’t say I’m a card carrying member of the Mickey Rourke Fan Club; he’s alright of course, but his ‘peak’ was before I started loving movies. The reason this movie was on  my must see list is because of my own interest in the wrestling business.  Like a lot of young boys of my generation, I spent countless Saturday afternoons cutting promos like Ric Flair, jumping off my bunk beds like Ricky Steamboat or Randy Savage, and slamming pillows like Hulk Hogan.  As you get older and you realize it’s a show, it loses its luster of course.  I’m still aware of what’s going on, who’s champion and so forth, but nothing like how I used to be.  I watched Ric Flair retire this year, and for me it really was the end of an era so to speak.

Anyway, this film isn’t about the Ric Flairs or Hulk Hogans who made (and kept) enough money so that the worst price they’ve paid is the damage they’ve done to their bodies (like most professional athletes who spend the second half of their lives in constant pain; another blog for another time).  Mickey Rourke’s character, “Randy the Ram” is one of those big guys from the 80s who made crazy money, blew it all on cars, drugs, i.e. the stuff that doesn’t appreciate in value over time.  Now in the 21st century, he has a grown daughter who wants a relationship with him but can’t let herself trust him, a career built completely on nostalgia, and a body that’s telling him he can no longer do the only thing that he really knows how to do.  It’s a story that we’ve seen a thousand times before, but it’s played so well, it’s still very sad to see. 

Rourke will get nominated, I have no doubt about that.  Can he ride the momentum into a win?  Possibly.  I wasn’t knocked out of my boots by his performance, but he sure as hell put the movie on his back and carried it.  PROPS from me for the Wrestler.  You don’t have to be a Mickey Rourke fan or a wrestling fan to enjoy this movie I think, but it definitely helps.