Critics love The Wrestler.  Why wouldn’t they?  They love to see actors humilated, then begging professional forgiveness by immersing themselves in the most punishing roles.  It makes them feel vindicated for their early, but misplaced praise.  Critics hate to be proved wrong.

Oh, how they watched in despair as Mickey torpedoed his career by choosing silly films and running off to do something else for a living.  What’s really amazing isn’t that he chose to be an athlete, but that his decision mystified everyone.  Is the entertainment world so obsessed with its own importance that it cannot imagine something outside itself?

Now that he’s safely back in the fold, presumably humbled by his detour into real life, it’s fashionable to laud his work.  What?  Were they concerned that the foray into plebian activities would rob him of his ability?  I guess they forgot he was the same man who convinced Kim Basinger to put on a blindfold.

Okay, he got a little carried away with the plastic surgery… but who doesn’t in that town?   It’s the people who decline to freeze or chop up their faces who are in the minority.  Besides, it didn’t stop him from stealing Sin City out from under Clive Owen and Bruce Willis.   Who cared about those two when Marv was on a one-man rampage to avenge the death of the beautiful and compassionate Goldie?

Why should we mourn the body of work he might have produced?  The work right now is superb… made even more believable and poignant by his courage to walk away and come back without false modesty.


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