Darren Aronofsky


Few people would ever think to utter "Mickey Rourke" and "Oscar buzz" in the same sentence... but hey, this is Hollywood! Anything can happen.

The Wrestler, a film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Rourke, took home the Golden Lion for best picture at the 2008 Venice Film Festival on Saturday.

In the flick, the 51-year-old star of 9 1/2 Weeks plays a washed up wrestler looking for a second chance in life. Rourke's comeback performance wowed Venice film-goers and has critics buzzing about his chances come award season.

Rave reviews were also given to Rourke's co-stars, Marisa Tomei, who plays his love interest/stripper, and Evan Rachel Wood, who plays his estranged daughter. The Wrestler will be screened Sunday at the Toronto Film Festival.

Venice's other top prize, the Silver Lion for best director, when to Russia's Alexei German Jr. for Bumaznyj soldat (Paper Soldier). Awards in acting went to Italy's Silvio Orlando for his role in Il Papa di Giovanna (Giovanna's Father) and France's Dominique Blanc for her role in L'Autre (The Other One).

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