Favorite New Films: The Wrestler

posted by The Joe

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Darren Aronofsky has made a career out of stylish visuals, but it could only take him so far. While style-over-substance was able to carry Pi and Requiem for a Dream, his last effort The Fountain ultimately failed because the whole film hinging on an emotional core that just wasn’t there. But The Wrestler is like nothing we’ve come to expect, and it’s arguably Aronofsky’s best film to date.

Stripped down with no flash or frills, the film has the simple, natural feel of 70s American filmmaking; something akin to the original Rocky. Free from the overdramatics and a bloated runtime typical of other “seriousaward contenders filling theaters now, the Wrestler comes alive with subtlety and emotion to provide a brutal, uncompromising look into the world of independent professional wrestling.

Watching the damage and ramifications these characters face after playing hero and fantasy to the masses for too long is achingly depressing, but it also makes for one of the greatest films of the year.

The Wrestler – Trailer

The Wrestler opens in Minneapolis today at the Uptown Theater.

Friday, January 9th, 2009 at 6:00 am