Wrestling is a fantasy sport primarily enjoyed by the working class to release their pent up anger and provide them with a living breathing hero. The Wrestler provides an entertainment by using his body as a target for physical abuse and pain. Mickey Roarke gives the decades best performance as “The Wrestler”. His character has made his profession his life and his body has the scars to prove it. He takes the abuse and pain with no rewards except the approval of his fans and fellow wrestlers. This apparently works for him until a brutal match brings on a heart attack. He is told that he can’t wrestle because his heart can’t take the stress. His struggle to mend his lost relationship with his daughter and his attempt to make a damaged stripper (played magnificently by Marisa Tomei) his port in a storm- is enough to make this mature man cry. These tears and my emotional response was earned as this film grabs you in and doesn’t let you go until the dramatic conclusion that was honest and very human. This is the best film of 2008 and will be remembered when “Slumdog Millionaire” is an afterthought.