Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler
It's the year of the comeback. In one corner, we have Robert Downey Jr., everyone's favorite ex-convict. It's almost unfair how fantastic he looks after years of abusing his body with poison. In another corner, Britney is poised for a worldwide tour, abs back in look-at-me form. And then there's Mickey.
Mickey Rourke was pretty much unemployable for years. Over a decade, actually. He was a liability. He may still be. He screwed up his body with drugs, his face with boxing and surgery, his relationships with unpredictable and volatile behavior. And then someone risked a professional career and fought for him. One role later, and he's in line (and maybe even the favorite) for the Oscar. What a year, indeed.
He scares me a little. Mostly because, unlike Downey, this man is an island. He doesn't have heroes to thank at award shows, he has his dogs. And his role in The Wrestler might be more a testament to supplementation and the hard life of a has-been than of remarkable acting talent. Maybe it's just a little too real.
And while his burned bridges may be all that stands in his way of a little gold man, he has far greater obstacles ahead of him. Will one performance be redemption in a town that wrote him off long ago? Will a gentler Mickey emerge from the land of critical acclaim? Or will a self-dependent man only crumble further under the weight of a lonely life?
What happens if he can't live up to the expectations of "comeback"? Or if the insecurity-fueled ego continues to trip him up?
Note to self: It's okay to live alone, but don't live life alone.