Incidental Acts of Spontaneous Cerebral Violence

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Insomniac Insanity

This is Christian Bale and Jennifer Jason Leigh at last night’s West Coast premiere of “The Machinist”.

And this is Trevor Reznik, as played by Bale. Reznik hasn’t slept in a year and weighs 120 lbs. Bale lost 63 lbs. in four months for the role. And, regardless of the quality of the film (it’s watchable; good, not great; strong performances; script loses momentum), Bale’s Auschwitz-survivor appearance overwhelms every frame. My discomfort came not from the story, the photography or the performances, but from looking at Bale in that state for 102 minutes. While Bale may claim the weight loss was not a “gimmick,” any impact or value of the film is overshadowed by its emaciated star.

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