We're breaking down all the Oscars contenders for you, so that you can decide whether you want to see them -- or at the very least, hold your own at cocktail parties. Today: the moving Mickey Rourke comeback vehicle 'The Wrestler.'

The WrestlerNominated For: Best Actor (Mickey Rourke), Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)

What It's About: Rourke plays has-been '80s wrestling stud Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a once legendary star who now ekes out an existence in a New Jersey trailer park, brawling with third-rate opponents in high-school gyms and barely speaking to the daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) he basically abandoned. Shaken by a brush with mortality and boosted by his deepening relationship with a compassionate stripper (Tomei, sexier than ever at 44), Ram takes one last shot at redemption both inside and outside the ring.

Why You Should See It: The parallels to Rourke's own career trajectory are too striking to ignore. Twenty years ago, he was one of Hollywood's hottest commodities -- a sex symbol with serious acting chops -- but then he suddenly quit the biz to become a pro boxer and was relegated to what can only be described as C-grad late-night Cinemax fare upon his return. But his art-imitating-life turn in director Darren Aronofsky's ('Requiem for a Dream') Greek tragedy-esque flick is so devastating, such an emotional body slam that it has led to a career resurrection for Rourke and perhaps the year's best performance. As icing on the cake, Marisa Tomei proves two things: 1) her Oscar win for 'My Cousin Vinny' was surely no fluke and 2) hula-hooping to get in shape for nude scenes most definitely works.

It's Kind of Like:'Raging Bull' meets 'No Holds Barred'

How You Can See It: In theaters now