Author Topic: The Wrestler  (Read 13755 times)

FroHam X

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Re: The Wrestler
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2009, 04:11:02 PM »
I was disappointed by the lack of back-story in this film. All you English Lit majors (I am also one) out there might tell me that more back-story = more boring. But I didn't have enough info to be fully invested in the story. Where is Stephanie's mom? Why did The Ram "fall from grace"? Was he simply too beaten up to continue wrestling during the 90s, or was there some kind of downfall?

The film lacked sufficient action for me. While its stylistic sparsity was refreshing, it fell short of being compelling.

Wrong.

I read and commented on your review of Button. The least you can do is elaborate on why you disagree with me without being rude.

Sorry if I came off as rude. I had my tongue firmly in cheek. Anyway. I really don't think that the film needed a back-story. I was actually impressed that it didn't have one. The film just expects that you understand this is what happens to many similar celebrities, and it is fairly obvious that whatever happened with Stephanie's mother it wasn't pretty.
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jbissell

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Re: The Wrestler
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2009, 04:13:48 PM »
And the supporting cast, specifically Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood in the only two major supporting roles, are basically the same way: they do their job, but there's nothing special about them whatsoever

I was just listening to Kermode's review and I thought he made a really great point about Tomei that I really hadn't considered.  He says that she's vital to the film because she is an example of a performer who understands that she's not quite what she used to be and is able to seperate the performance aspect from her personal life, something that Randy clearly hasn't been able to achieve.

I was disappointed by the lack of back-story in this film. All you English Lit majors (I am also one) out there might tell me that more back-story = more boring. But I didn't have enough info to be fully invested in the story. Where is Stephanie's mom? Why did The Ram "fall from grace"? Was he simply too beaten up to continue wrestling during the 90s, or was there some kind of downfall?

Considering the fact that he was big in the mid-80s, and I have no reason to believe the film takes place in any time but the present, I think it's pretty safe to assume that he's just gotten too old.  I don't watch wrestling much these days but it seems that the options for the older stars are pretty limited and for someone without any other skills, it's the only thing he knows how to do well.  If they make it back to the big leagues, it's generally nothing more than a nostalgia grab (see Hulk Hogan or any of the numerous wrestlers that the WWE has brought back in recent years that can't match the physicality of today's stars).  I don't necessarily think that more back-story would've been boring, I just don't think it's necessary at all.  How would knowing more about her mother add to the story?  I'm glad that the story allowed me to fill in the blanks about what happened to his career and life.  

Clovis8

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Re: The Wrestler
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2009, 04:15:32 PM »
I have no idea why but I assumed the mother killed herself or OD'd. Seemed to make sense to me in the context of the movie.

FroHam X

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Re: The Wrestler
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2009, 04:24:29 PM »
I have no idea why but I assumed the mother killed herself or OD'd. Seemed to make sense to me in the context of the movie.

That was one possibility I considered.
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kizik

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Re: The Wrestler
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2009, 04:28:40 PM »
I have no idea why but I assumed the mother killed herself or OD'd. Seemed to make sense to me in the context of the movie.

That was one possibility I considered.

I can see both sides. Thanks froham for elaborating. For me, a needed a bit more. Otherwise, I do think it's a great film. But I agree with the voicemailer on the show who said that Rourke's performance was certainly good, but not worth the huge praise it's getting.

jbissell

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Re: The Wrestler
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2009, 04:31:58 PM »
But I agree with the voicemailer on the show who said that Rourke's performance was certainly good, but not worth the huge praise it's getting.

I understand that a lot of this performance comes down to the right man at the right time but I don't think that fact should take away anything from his performance.  To anyone who wasn't that impressed with him, I'm wondering what exactly they are looking for in a performance.

kizik

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Re: The Wrestler
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2009, 05:04:10 PM »
Perhaps my ambivalence is due in part to exactly the circumstances you describe. When the part is so close to the plight or life of an actor, it's less of a performance than using the screen as a sort of confessional. Imagine Robert Downey Jr. playing a drug-addled movie star. You might give him acclaim because he's so in tune to the character, having lived it. But in my eyes, it's not so much acting as it is remembering what it's like to be that person. Same with Rourke. 

FroHam X

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Re: The Wrestler
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2009, 05:06:52 PM »
Perhaps my ambivalence is due in part to exactly the circumstances you describe. When the part is so close to the plight or life of an actor, it's less of a performance than using the screen as a sort of confessional. Imagine Robert Downey Jr. playing a drug-addled movie star. You might give him acclaim because he's so in tune to the character, having lived it. But in my eyes, it's not so much acting as it is remembering what it's like to be that person. Same with Rourke. 

But I don't buy that, as I said in my review. Rourke may have lived through similar situations, but it takes an incredible performance to convey that kind of emotion and pain.
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Junior

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Re: The Wrestler
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2009, 05:07:35 PM »
For me a performance is about believability within the world of the film. Daniel Day Lewis' performance in TWBB last year was great because it was over the top in a way that fit in with the rest of the film. The Wrestler is a very "real" story and Rourke's performance is very real, partially because he lived a version of it. As long as I believe he really is a washed up wrestler I consider it a good performance.
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Re: The Wrestler
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2009, 06:04:37 PM »
Perhaps my ambivalence is due in part to exactly the circumstances you describe. When the part is so close to the plight or life of an actor, it's less of a performance than using the screen as a sort of confessional. Imagine Robert Downey Jr. playing a drug-addled movie star. You might give him acclaim because he's so in tune to the character, having lived it. But in my eyes, it's not so much acting as it is remembering what it's like to be that person. Same with Rourke. 

but that is what acting is is it not (at least acording to some schools... Matty?)  finding something in a character that you can internalize and draw upon your own experiences to then bring forth on stage/screen/mirror/street corner/wherever.  If you happen to have an even greater insight to the part due to yr own circumstances then all the better and more real for the audience.