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The Wrestler (2008) The Wrestler (2008)

In his real life Hollywood comeback, Mickey Rourke's art imitates his life. Rourke stars as Randy "The Ram" (Ram Jam!) Robinson, a professional wrestler twenty years over the hill. When he can't pay the rent for his sleazy trailer, he sleeps in his rusted van. Duct tape holds his coat together, steroids have bloated his body, chemicals make his hair blond, and a hearing aid dangles from his ear. Hard living, bad luck and stupid choices have landed him where you might expect, including estrangement from his daughter Stefanie. But he soldiers on, and so we love him and resonate with him. When the movie ends ambiguously, we wonder about his fate and hope he will be okay. In a near mirror image, a stripper, Pam, is Randy's only friend, and their mutual commiseration is touching. Who would have thought that a stripper and a wrestler would win our hearts? But such is the skill of director Darren Aronofsky. In one scene Pam quotes a long passage from Isaiah to and about Randy, likening him, in a clever play on words, to "the sacrificial ram." And, in fact, Randy embodies all the woes of humanity and discovers that even when broken things cannot be fixed, it's still okay.

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