Newcomer Siegel and helmer Darren Aronofsky take the aud into a hidden world — low-rent pro wrestling — and find drama in a milieu and character usually dismissed by showbiz’s cool kids. While keeping the focus on character, the pic reveals wrestlers as entertainers, suffering to keep the aud entertained, and so echoes a long tradition of doomed-performer pics. “La Vie en Ring”?
WHY IT’LL WIN: It’s a showbiz movie at heart, and Oscar likes showbiz movies.
MAYBE NOT: It’s very dark, even brutal, and its actual story is slight.