On paper, The Wrestler is a trite story about a washed-up 1980s wrestling superstar (Mickey Rourke) attempting to woo a stripper (Marisa Tomei) and to reconnect with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood). But Darren Aronofsky makes it all appear as real and bleak as any documentary, both at the wrestler's trailer-park home and during the gruesome bouts he puts himself through for ever-smaller audiences. Rourke is horribly believable as a musclebound has-been.
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