Movie Reviews: The Wrestler and Frozen River

In the mood to be depressed? Then The Wrestler is the movie for you. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a good movie, though at times it feels long and as if it is lacking a concrete direction. It’s just not the kind of “feel good” sort of movie that most people are used to. In fact, one of its best qualities is its rather startling honesty. This isn’t a movie where everything works out right, and that’s somewhat refreshing, if sobering. Mickey Rourke is excellent in the film, and certainly deserved the Golden Globe he took home. I’d definitely recommend it, just not if you are in the mood for something light or uplifting. Also, a warning to the faint of heart: look away during the wrestling scenes.

On the other hand, Frozen River, is definitely the sort of movie that could be extremely depressing, but ends on a hopeful note. It’s gripping and there are some very tense scenes. Much like The Wrestler, I think it’s a pretty honest depiction of a type of life we aren’t often exposed to on the big screen, but, unlike The Wrestler, it moves at a better pace and you are never left wondering what drives the characters. I really liked Kate Winslet in The Reader, but I think I might be rooting for Melissa Leo to take home the Oscar for this. I’ve never heard of her before and she was great.

I’m hoping to finish up my Oscar movie list tomorrow – I’ve still got Milk and Slumdog Millionaire to go. I’m refusing to see Benjamin Button as a matter of principal.

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