Not too long ago, if someone had told you Mickey Rourke would be winning the Golden Globe in the Best Actor category, you wouldn’t have believed it. Hailed as Rourke’s comeback role — apparently Sin City doesn’t count — The Wrestler, directed by Darren Aronofsky, is being called one of this year’s best films.
A heartfelt story about a wrestler who’s no longer in his prime, Rourke’s character, Randy “The Ram” Robinson, is trying to figure out what to do with his life as he gets older and his wrestling career is slipping away. He attempts to reconnect with his daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood), who he abandoned when she was a child, and establish a relationship with an aging stripper, Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), who always claims she is unavailable. Randy lives for wrestling and continues to do low-budget matches for small audiences just to be a part of something he loves. As old age and an injury threaten to take away his one true love in life, he has to learn how to survive without the only thing he’s ever been good at.
With all of the Oscar buzz around Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Revolutionary Road, The Wrestler is a serious underdog for this year’s awards. But the hype surrounding Rourke’s performance is reason alone to catch this film at Boardman’s Art Theatre, starting Jan. 30. Boardman’s always brings a unique selection of films to the Champaign area that viewers may otherwise not have the chance to see, and The Wrestler won’t disappoint. For anyone who loves watching all the season’s nominated films at a classic theater or just wants to catch an unusual story about stardom and its downfalls, The Wrestler is just for you.

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