The name Christian Bale is no stranger to many moviegoers around the world. He was first known for playing the English boy, Jim 'Jamie' Graham at the age of 13 in Steven Spielberg's "Empire Of The Sun" back in 1987, and has gone on to become one of the best and most sought-after actors working today in Hollywood after a string of critically-acclaimed movies. In conjunction with his upcoming revenge drama, "Out Of The Furnace" out this 16 January 2014, here are his top 5 best roles ever played in his career:
1. "American Psycho" (2000)
Based on a novel by Bret Easton Ellis, "American Psycho" revolves around Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), a wealthy New York investment banker who has a sick and twisted ego. He subsequently loses his mind and goes on a killing spree.
What's the big deal: If "Empire Of The Sun" was Bale's finest hour when he's still a child actor, then "American Psycho" was his first breakthrough adult performance. Bale is spot-on as the cold and charismatic Patrick Bateman. Not to mention he simply looks swell as a '80s yuppie gentleman.
2. "The Machinist" (2004)
Christian Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a machinist who suffers a severe case of insomnia for a year and begins doubting his own sanity.
What's the big deal: Christian Bale is simply extraordinary in this psychological thriller. He went into great length to look shockingly thin by starving himself for over four months and lost 62 pounds (28 kg)!
3. "The Dark Knight" trilogy (2005, 2008 and 2012)
In this Christopher Nolan-directed "The Dark Knight" trilogy beginning with "Batman Begins" in 2005, "The Dark Knight" in 2008 and finally "The Dark Knight Rises" in 2012, Christian Bale plays the wealthy Bruce Wayne who moonlights as Batman to fight crime in Gotham City.
What's the big deal: Unlike the miscast Michael Keaton ("Batman", "Batman Returns"), the pathetic-looking Val Kilmer ("Batman Forever") or the overly glamourous George Clooney ("Batman And Robin"), Christian Bale succeeded admirably for playing the iconic character. He certainly has the idealistic appearance to play Batman, but he's even better when he gives a subtle, yet emotionally-involving performance as Bruce Wayne.
4. "Harsh Times" (2005)
Christian Bale plays Jim Davis, a former U.S. Army Ranger who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When he returns to the United States in hopes to marry his Mexican girlfriend Marta (Tammy Trull) and start a new life together, nothing is as rosy as he expected.
What's the big deal: Christian Bale's character whom slowly declines into psychological decay echoes the similarity of Robert De Niro's Oscar-nominated performance as the mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran in 1976's "Taxi Driver". His performance in "Harsh Times" is no doubt frighteningly violent and harrowing.
5. "The Fighter" (2010)
Inspired by the true story of "Irish" Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his older half-brother Dicky Edlund (Christian Bale), this boxing drama focuses on the early years of Micky Ward until his eventual rise to fame.
What's the big deal:"The Fighter" is best remembered for Christian Bale's scene-stealing performance as Dicky Edlund which finally won him his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Like "The Machinist", he also dropped weight to achieve a skeletal frame for his role here.
Cinema Online, 29 January 2014