I’ve never liked Christian Bale, I dunno what it is about his muppet face but I just want to kick it, but in all fairness he’s a pretty dedicated actor but I wouldn’t want to have lunch with the man. His dedication usually comes in the guise of his body transformations for his roles and darn it, the boy can act, he ain’t perfect a English accent but he does put some effort into his numerous character roles and when he’s not taking himself too serious he’s top notch, but he just has a muppet face.. and in NO particular order here are 5 selected Bale flicks..
Soooo this is the film where I feel that Bale really dropped his guard and actually acted. REALLY acted. I’m not saying that he failed to before but he came across as something completely different here and I finally found enough films to make a top 5. I had the film for some time, on the shelf, one of those buy 5 for £30 deals and it seemed a viable option, but it wasn’t until a friend lent it to me that i actually watched it. So the film deals with a man who makes a simple mistake, he crashes into a car carrying a woman and child, killing them. He does his time in prison, on returning to the world his girlfriend (Zoe Saldana) has left him for a cop (Forest Whitaker), Bale’s brother (Casey Affleck), a returned veteran is taking on bare knuckle fights to make money but the guys (Woody Harrelson and Lance Henriksen) running these fights are dodgy as hell, the brother gets killed and Bale seeks revenge through hick country. There are a ton of connections with Deer Hunter but this is quite different, depicting a town that has been forgotten by time. Bales performance is outstanding, for once allowing other actors to dominate the screen and not to be overbearing with his persona and speech. His more demure demeanour actually elevates him out of the screen rather than his search for stardom.
The first Bale film I did ever see. It turned up on one of those 4 movies to a disc kinda thing and is basically Hamlet. Bale plays a young prince whose small Danish Kingdom is overthrown and in order to protect himself he has to act as the fool. A rival (Gabriel Byrne) kills his father and takes his place, bale has to pretend that the act of seeing his father killed sends him into a psychosis, and spends his time prancing around acting like an ass, but behind closed doors he interacts with his mother (Helen Mirren) and finds a lover who is killed on day he leaves to spend his time with an English King. He’s incredibly cunning and manages to wreak a little havoc in order to try and reclaim his kingdom. It’s a pretty simple but effective film, it’s not on the grand scale of The Vikings but genre wise it had a lot of similarities. Bale was a young and humble actor at the time, it’s not his first role by far but he had incredible fitness and was brimming with energy throughout the role, I think having to play someone with an enforced split personality really did him credit as he seems comfortable in psychotic roles.. which brings me to..
This is the role man, the role MADE for Bale, one of my ex’s read me most of the book as a bedtime story, yeah dude thanks for that.. we could have been doing other things.. BUT it was an amazing book and when I heard about the film being made, I knew the role would have to go to him. It just oozes Baleness out of every pour and he plays the role to perfection. I don’t really need to go over the details but the film revolves around a yuppy exe asshole who acts out his perverse fantasies of control over people to the point of murder, or does he? The morning routine and business card scenes really make this film great, the attention to detail and internal monologues are faultless.
This film is brilliant, it was the first time I had seen Bale slim down to the weight of a 3 year old and somehow managed to carry himself around. I do hate it when actors don’t get themselves dirty for a role (that’s the only way I can describe it) then there are a few chaps and chapettes who go beyond what is needed and manage to really send themselves over the edge into dangerous territory and along with Bale, Fassbender has also been criticized for his dramatic weight loss for a role. The testament isn’t only in the personal dedication but somehow in this emancipated state he performs like a pro. A machine operator works all day and freaks out all night, a paranoid acute insomnia, he spends his evenings wide awake, scrubbing the grout in the bathroom, plagued with nightmares of someone who has stolen his car and his only friend is the late night waitress who serves him lemon pie in the early hours when he can’t sleep. The film takes many twists and the emaciated mechanic goes from bad to worse both physically and mentally as he tried to find this mad character who has a toe for thumb who is driving his car. He’s almost nightmarish as he runs around as this frantic paranoid skeleton. Somehow through the skin and bones there are glints at a genius at work.
One last bizarre skinny character from the Baleinator. This time he accurately mimics the retired boxer Dicky Eklund to a tee. I never had any doubt about that Bale could pull off a perfect imitation but I was afraid of him taking over the role which isn’t solely about him, and while there are times where he dominates it does actually work in this film as he does play a pivotal character but his quieter and much more timid brother Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg). Dicky is down and strung out on drugs while his baby brother is following in his previous footsteps as a boxer. Their controlling mother tries to keep everything in the family and inadvertently smothers Micky’s chances of making it big, but eventually after meeting a feisty girlfriend Catherine (Amy Adams) he gets his big break which shakes up his family as much as his career. Kinda following on in the footsteps of Rocky, the Fighter manages a good balance of fighting and real drama, and supported by a blistering OST. The testament of the film is in the credits when you finally get to see the two