Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler,” with Mickey Rourke starring as former pro Randy “The Ram” Robinson, is shaping up to be the film of the fall, having just won the Golden Lion for best film at Venice. The Silver Lion, for best director, went to Aleksey German Jr. for “BumaÅ¾nyj Soldat” (Paper Soldier) — the complete list of awards is here.
“The Wrestler”‘s still without distribution, but that should change in the next day or two at Toronto — Steven Zeitchik and Borys Kit at the Hollywood Reporter have been monitoring the sales talk, and note that as of this morning, “Negotiations continue between CAA and potential distribs, with the newly revived Senator thought to be joining Overture and Searchlight in the bid to pick up the film. A deal could come as early as Monday afternoon.” UPDATE: Anne Thompson at Variety reports that Fox Searchlight has snagged the film for $4 million.
Incidentally, Aronofsky’s been keeping up a not terribly revealing blog here; in his latest update, from Saturday, he writes “today i finally get some rest. it’s been a crazy few days filled with press and screenings. folks seem very supportive. mickey and evan are here and it’s been a thrill showing them off.”
You can get a glimpse of some footage from the film in this Italian news report from Venice. The early reviews have been good and Rourke-centric, with Todd McCarthy at Variety raving that the actor “creates a galvanizing, humorous, deeply moving portrait that instantly takes its place among the great, iconic screen performances,” and Fionnuala Halligan at Screen International adding “rarely, after all, has a star been so perfectly matched to a role.” Stephen Farber at the Hollywood Reporter is a bit more subdued, writing that “Although the film teeters on the brink of sentimentality, it never topples into the slush, and this is a tribute to the rigorous direction as well as the astringent performances.”
[Photo: “The Wrestler,” Protozoa Pictures, 2008]
+ Official Venezia 65 Awards (LaBiennale.org)
+ ‘Wrestler’ interest high in Toronto (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Fox Searchlight pins ‘Wrestler’ (Variety)
+ VENICE (Darren Aronofsky’s Blog)
+ Venezia65 (YouTube)
+ The Wrestler (Variety)
+ Film Review: The Wrestler (Hollywood Reporter)
+ The Wrestler (Screen International)