The Machinist (2004)
Starring Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and John Sharian
Directed by Brad Anderson
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
This one's been in the ole Netflix rental queue for a long time, but I just never got around to renting it. I'm actually quite happy I did because this odd little film was an interesting character piece that was well worth the watch.
This is the movie that Christian Bale famously lost a ton of weight for. He looks like an anorexic teenager at a mere 120 pounds. You can tell he's not healthy and it certainly made is character Trevor Reznik infinitely more believable. Trevor's problem is that he hasn't slept in over a year. 365 days without sleep can make you a little nutty and not quite at the top of your game. I don't really want to spoil a lot because I knew nothing except the above going into this film and I think it worked in my favor. Needless to say, the lack of sleep begins causing some problems in Trevor's life and it slowly begins to spiral out of control.
Christian Bale is pretty great here. I know there was some talk in 2004 about him getting an Oscar nomination for this role and looking back over the nominees that year, I can't say he would have been a bad choice. There's more on display than just his frail-looking body. There's a real character study going on here and Bale is quite adept at letting the audience really feel what's going on in his sleep-deprived mind.
And despite the fact that Bale got most of the acclaim for the movie, both the director Brad Anderson and screenwriter Scott Kosar provide excellent work in their respective crafts. Even though there are some fairly obvious plot points, I must say that I found the ending to be moderately surprising and shockingly emotional, and in the case of this movie, I commend both the director and writer for that.
The Machinist is a good little flick. Nothing groundbreaking or incredible, but a solid mystery-drama with a pretty great performance from one of the better actors of my generation.
The RyMickey Rating: B+