Mickey Rourke's Oscar Pitch: 'You Change, or You Blow Your Fucking Brains Out'After picking up its hardware in Venice and a distribution deal in Toronto, Mickey Rourke's comeback The Wrestler screened for the first time in the United States this morning in New York. We crashed the joint, and we can confirm that everything you've heard about Rourke's Oscar future is essentially on the nose: He'll nab a Best Actor nomination for his performance as Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a 40-something pro wrestler on the downswing with pretty everything in his life including his relationship with his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood), his hang-ups with a stripper (Marisa Tomei) and his own tormented perspective on aging. That said, it's sort of a marvel of accessibility and not nearly the downer we expected from feel-bad master Darren Aronofsky; after the nihilist pageantry of last year's There Will Be Blood, the Academy will eat this up come February. Moreover, the voters he hasn't alienated over the years will crawl over each other to be a part of Rourke's comeback story. Fox Searchlight is packaging it as we speak, and Rourke himself was candidly — maybe too candidly — selling its prototype at a press conference following today's screening."I mean, if I knew it would take me 15 years to get back in the saddle and work again because of the way I handled things, I really would have handled things differently," he told the crowd. "I just didn't have the tools. I'm doing things differently this time around — understanding what it is to be a professional, be responsible and to be consistent. Those are things that weren't in my vocabulary back then. Change for me didn't come easy; I didn't wanna change until I lost everything until I realized that you better change, or, you know, blow your fucking brains out. Either you change and go on with life, or you're just a piece of shit. "Everything I felt was that I would be weak — that it was a weakness to change, for the armor that I put on my whole life. I was too proud to change, because my strength at the time was a weakness. I'm all right with it now, and yeah, it took me 15, 16, 17 years out of the game. But it's really nice, because I get to come back and work with these people here." He gestured to his left, where Aronofsky, Tomei and co-producer Scott Franklin were seated alongside him at the dais. They're probably short-listers, too, along with screenwriter Robert Siegel, likely the first Onion alumnus to be considered for an Academy Award. Really, that's the story we can't wait to write, but we'll take this in the meantime.