movie reviews

The Wrestler (2008)


Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) is an aging professional wrestler. He struggles to make rent and has to pick up extra shifts at his day job.  The years of beatings to his body, steroid abuse and hair bleaching is taking its toll.  He seems to be pretty lonely.  He has regularly visits a stripper, Cassidy (Marissa Tomei), whom he develops an interest in.  His doctor recommends that he quits wrestling and Randy makes an effort to adjust to “normal” life. He tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood), but she’s not too keen.  As things go awry, Randy finds himself being drawn back into wrestling.

The Wrestler was a big comeback for Mickey Rourke (actually his comeback was in 2005’s Sin City, but The Wrestler is a bigger role) who was quite popular in the 1980s (see 9½ Weeks and Angel Heart).  Rourke won best actor Golden Globe, BAFTA , Screen Actors Guild Award, etc and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Randy.  The lovely Marissa Tomei was nominated for and/or won several awards for her performance as Cassidy.

I’m not really into wrestling, but I thought the movie is quite brilliant. Like other films from director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan), The Wrestler is a portrait of human obsession and habit. It’s not a feel-good movie.  Randy’s world is pretty bleak. It is gritty and feels very real.

I would recommend this movie if you’re into serious human drama.

Written by: Robert Siegel
Directed by: Darren Aronofski
Release: 2008
Rating: R
Running time: 1h 49min.

©lowercase v  2017 

movie reviews

Amélie (2001)


Rating: R      (South African DVD rating: 13)
Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, is a French romantic comedy (with subtitles).

Amélie is introduced to us as a lonely only-child with a vivid imagination. As an adult, Amélie (Audrey Tautou) lives on her own and works as a waitress in a cafe in Paris. One day, she finds a mysterious box of keepsakes and she sets off to find its owner. On her journey she meets Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) and immediate feels a connection with him. She also set out to bring joy to the people around her, with random acts of kindness and anonymous little  surprises.

Amélie is well written and directed. It has a great cast and is over all well-crafted. The omnipresent voice over narrator that adds flavour to the story. The characters are funny and interesting, with quirky character introductions. This is a very entertaining romantic comedy and one of my favourite movies.

Amélie received several awards and nominations including awards for writing, cinematography, editing, production design, acting and “Best foreign language film”.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Writers: Guillaume Laurant &  Jean-Pierre Jeunet 
Full cast and crew on imdb.



©lowercase_v   2017