Tuesday Top Ten! ~a new weekly feature. For the listmaker in me and the list lover in you
My 10 Favorite Christian Bale Performances
It's his birthday, so why not? My apologies to Reign of Fire fans for leaving that out but basically Christian just let his abs give the performancce in that one. They're beautiful but they don't have a lot of range and they suck at modulating character arcs.
10. Any Performance I haven't seen yet. Bale is rarely bad. My most notable omission is The Machinist --I've explained the reasons why before.
09. "Thomas" in Pocahontas (1995)
I'm not really even joking. If this were a live action feature I would be obsessed with this peripheral role. What is he thinking? How does he really feel about the hero John Smith?
08. "Sam" in Laurel Canyon (2003)
Uncharacteristically stiff and uncomfortable, but that's the role. He nails the total fear of flirtation/temptation (a reaction you rarely see in movies) in that steamy car scene with Natasha McElwhatsherface.
07. "Jack Kelly" in Newsies (1992)
This is regarded as a dud but I remember seeing it in the theater during the 10 (?) year drought of true movie musicals and just being so grateful that I could even watch a bad one. Bale has the only great scene, singing the 'I want' number (all Disney musicals got 'em) "Santa Fe". It's the one number that lifts off the ground a little bit, and almost gives you the feeling you get watching great musicals. Strangely, despite a plethora of Newsies performance clips online, the only one that actually has Bale himself singing does not have the scene from the movie. Just stills. But here it is to your left so you can hear his lovely voice. He even sings with his character accent! What an actor.
06. "Arthur Stuart" in Velvet Goldmine (1998)
From one musical type to another. Velvet Goldmine belongs to the absolutely mesmerizing overt theatricality of it's trio of show-offs: Ewan Macgregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Toni Collette but Bale is your outsider looking in protagonist. The clip to your right above is "Baby's On Fire" which gets Bale quite hot & bothered. The entire movie gets us hot & bothered.
05. "Bruce Wayne" in Batman Begins (2005)
Glad to see Bale carrying a mainstream hit (quite a range he's got in his filmography) and he's a great choice. I don't think it's a completely revelatory performance but I hope he's just warming up. Its sequel The Dark Knight arrives in 2008.
04. "Alfred Borden" in The Prestige (2006)
03. "John Rolfe" in The New World (2005)
Given that Bale is beginning to specialize in slightly or very scary men with secrets, it was almost a revelation to see him as such a kind, straightforward and open hearted man in Terence Malick's superb film which was horrifically botched in its theatrically release by wishy washy distribution: rent it. And hey, that makes twice that Bale has been a peripheral character in a Pocahontas movie.
02. "Jamie Graham" in Empire of the Sun (1987)
I haven't seen this in a long time but there are those who think it one of the great child performances of all time. Have any of you seen it recently? How does it hold up?
01. "Patrick Bateman" in American Psycho (2000)
I've discussed this performance before but it's one of the best star turns of the decade and the film is aging really well.
Bale demands that you see it again. And you don't want to upset his delicate psychological balance.
Previous Tuesday Top Tens (New Series):
Oscar Nominations Talking Points
Alexander(s) The Great
Best 2006 Movies from The Departed (sure) to Marie Antoinette (you heard me)
Movies by The Three Amigos Best of Cuarón, González Iñárritu and Del Toro
Tags: Christian Bale, movies, newsies, movie musicals, cinema, Film, batman, velvet goldmine