Rourke creates a galvanizing, humorous, deeply moving portrait that instantly takes its place among the great, iconic screen performances. An elemental story simply and brilliantly told, Darren Aronofsky's fourth feature is a winner from every possible angle.
Whatever Aronofsky did -- or didn't -- do, Rourke's performance comes off beautifully. The Wrestler may not be the "best" Aronofsky movie in any technical sense. But the director clearly feels a great deal of tenderness toward his lead character.