I watched The Machinist yesterday on Sky Boxoffice. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but I’d heard some excellent things about it.
It’s billed as a “psychodrama” and it certainly lives up to that. Christian Bale plays the eponymous lead in what has to be the role of a lifetime. He is truly outstanding as the insomniac blue-collar worker with more than a few things on his mind. He had to lose 63lbs to play the part and his appearance is shocking – “If you were any thinner, you wouldn’t exist”. I thought that I was skinny in my youth, but Bale has deliberately made himself appear anorexic for this role – he looks like a completely different person but his skeletol frame makes his performance all the more convincing. He’s superb as Reznick from start to finish.
The whole film is full of symbolism and visual clues though you never find out the cause of Reznick’s mental anguish until right at the end. There are no laughs in this, but I still enjoyed this immensely. It’s got Jennifer Jason Leigh’s tits in it too, but then who hasn’t already seen those?