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TIFF 08: The Wrestler

Just prior to seeing the Sunday night’s North American premiere of Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler at the Elgin Visa screening room, I haphazardly ran into Alex from Firstshowing.net and Peter from Slashfilm.com in the downstairs lobby (which would explain how I ended up here).

Just prior to seeing the Sunday night’s North American premiere of Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler at the Elgin Visa screening room, I haphazardly ran into Alex from Firstshowing.net and Peter from Slashfilm.com in the downstairs lobby (which would explain how I ended up here). While the electric charge in the theater had nothing to do with Evan Rachel Wood, it was a special night for her all the same as it was her 21st b-day. I think a chorus began out of the Wild Bunch sales people Aronofsky got the whole audience involved.

 

Early on I could tell that this may be Aronofsky’s comeback, this after wrestling with his own pet project called The Fountain for years — and not getting the results that a lot of people might have been anticipating. Commencing with a collage sequence of title bout flyers and magazine covers, and accompanied by a hard rock ear-popping tune from the 80’s, the first image from The Wrestler shows how far a former star has fallen. Rourke’s The Ram character has his back turned towards us and is trying to get put some air ionto those lungs of his while panting in a corner of a community center that looks like a day care space. Wild Bunch were quick to sell this title – Fox Searchlight just picked it up for a cool 4 million, while 24 to 36 hours before that it claimed the top prize at Venice. I hope to have my review up shortly.  

Darren Aronofsky The Wrestler TIFF 2008

Evan Rachel Wood The Wrestler TIFF 2008

Mickey Rourke The Wrestler TIFF 2008

Mickey Rourke The Wrestler TIFF 2008

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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