i adore christian bale. i have ever since i was a lowly sixth-grader and watching newsies for the umpteenth time with my girlfriends. my relationship with bale and his movies has lasted longer than some friendships…that, now that i think about it, is sort of sad.
but. it’s beside the point. the POINT is that he has received his first golden globe nomination (for the fighter, expanding nationwide this friday). this will most likely lead to his first oscar nod, and i hope win? picture me doing a little happy dance in my living room, the BF looking on in a mixture of disgust and amusement.
anyway, a few of bale’s finer moments on-screen:
newsies (1992): okay, so maybe not his greatest moment. but this movie is beloved by many (bale’s even said so himself!), and his performance, while not anything to write home about, was fun. my little friends and i would copy the choreography and we STILL know all the words to the soundtrack.
laurel canyon (2002): this isn’t so much about bale’s role, but the movie as a whole. laurel canyon focused more on the relationship between alex (played by kate beckinsale), jane (frances mcdormand) and ian (alessandro nivola). what i liked is that this is the first time i’d seen bale in a supporting role, and he didn’t overpower his scenes. you remembered him, but he wasn’t distracting.
the prestige (2006): this is one of the first films he did with christopher nolan. two friends, then rivals, try to out-do each other in the world of magicianry. he played a double role in this film…the catch phrase (“are you watching closely?”) keeps you guessing until the last scene.
american psycho (2000): i read bret easton ellis’s book before i saw the movie, and good god, was he creepy. bateman acts like he’s a god in the book, and bale carried himself like he was just visiting from mount olympus. perfect.
the machinist (2004): he should have gotten an oscar nomination for this appearance alone in this film. maybe you’ve heard the story – bale was dissatisfied with the imaging they were going to use to make him look all gaunt and shrunken, so he went ahead and lost all the weight. it’s disgusting to look at, but it’s like a car wreck; you can’t help but gawk. that he was undoubtedly physically weak while filming makes watching his creepily spot-on performance as trevor reznik all the more awesome.
i’d mention the batman movies, but those, in my opinion, were less about his performance alone than the whole movie. the dark knight, in particular, he was overshadowed by heath ledger.