Mickey Rourke (curmudgeonly), Marisa Tomei (naked), Evan Rachel Wood (weepy)

What’s it about?
Putty-faced thespian/diva, Mickey Rourke plays Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, a former pro-wrestler who is now reduced to fighting in school gyms and recreation centres around New Jersey. When The Ram is offered a re-match against his nemesis from the ’80s, ‘The Ayatollah’, he takes it. Even though he’s falling apart, both physically and emotionally.

What’s good about it?
The Wrestler is all about highs, lows and redemption. It follows the same story arc as a wrestling match – the hero is up and then he’s down, and someone always has to lose. At times director Darren Aronofsky lays it on thick, The Ram has an estranged daughter (Wood) who hates him, and he’s fallen for an ageing stripper (Tomei). The Ram also has a dicky heart and can’t hear very well. Mickey Rourke is a perfect choice, he’s like a massive, soppy dog that’s gone a bit mental in its old age and is waiting to die. This film taps in to any insecurity you’ve ever had about getting old, not achieving anything and disappointing your family… in the best possible way.

What’s bad about it?
You’ve seen this film before in everything from The Champ, through to the Rocky franchise. But none of that matters, it’s a classic story executed with style and humour.

The ultimate man film. Wrestling, masculine tears, stoic refusal to admit weakness, life, death and strippers.


Check out the VIP screen report here.