51. The Wrestler (A-) One of the really acclaimed films (and performances) of 2008, that was a period when I had almost stopped watching movies, so I finally went back to check it out. The film's by Darren Aronofsky, who previously made the interesting-if-inscrutable The Fountain. If one film came to mind while watching this, it's Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby. If Million Dollar Baby was a dark take/deconstruction of Rocky, The Wrestler is a dark take/deconstruction of Rocky Balboa. In perhaps a refreshing twist, for once ignoring all medical advice turns out to not be a good idea. Rourke's performance got a ton of acclaim, and it's deserved (people love performances like this, where the character's situation so obviously mirrors the actor's, though Rourke, luckily, got the more traditional Hollywood ending). Marisa Tomei, who's been the butt of a million "Oscar to the wrong person" jokes, is great here too; if nothing else, her nomination for this shows it wasn't a fluke. Evan Rachel Wood is good in her limited screentime (I thought the whole "she might be a lesbian" thing was odd; are roommates that unheard of?). The movie also gets a lot of mileage out of the wrestling subculture; I have not the slightest bit of interest in professional wrestling (my brother and his friends were crazy about it for a while), but it was neat to see how they go about their business.