‘The Wrestler’ Takes Top Honors at Venice; Mickey Rourke’s Comeback Pretty Much Unavoidable Now

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Jimmy Barrett just cracks them up. Photo: Courtesy of Saturn Films

Mickey Rourke's comeback hopes are looking pretty good these days — Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, in which Rourke stars as an aging ex–WWE titan, won the Golden Lion this weekend at the Venice Film Festival. The film's victory made Rourke ineligible for individual prizes like the Coppa Volpi award for best actor (that went to Silvio Orlando of Italian film Il papa di Giovanna), but jury president Wim Wenders hinted at Rourke's assumed front-runner status when criticizing the festival rules. There was also a bit of personal validation for Aronofsky, who, as Rourke pointed out, got a tepid reception at Venice with The Fountain in 2006: "Darren Aronofsky came here a couple of years ago and fell on his ass … I am glad he had the balls to come back." [Variety]