The Wrestler (2008)
The close-up is an actor’s best friend, or so they say. Traditionally, an extended close-up is a sign of a big acting moment, which I’m not a fan of ordinarily. An actor cries or shows anguish, and we know, they’re going for the Oscar. I suppose like most things, it’s all in how it’s done. Take Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler. He does a close-up on Mickey Rourke, and the two deliver this amazing scene. Rourke earned this scene by delivering a masterful, subtle, authentic performance and building his character throughout the film. He plays Randy Robinson, a washed up wrestler still trying to cut it with younger athletes and piece back together his life. This scene represents what could be a turning point, a reconciliation with his estranged daughter. His quiet monologue complimented by the reaction and acting of Evan Rachel Wood as his daughter makes the scene a heartbreaker.