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Monday, December 22, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Machinist cinematronic
  director

Brad Anderson

cast

Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian, Michael Ironside, Larry Gilliard, Reg E. Cathey, Anna Massey

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  The radical body-sculpting done by lead actor Christian Bale, leaving him death-camp skinny for his part in "The Machinist," is not the only thing that's disconcerting about this horrific, mysterious psychological drama. But the authenticity of his cadaverous appearance does get your attention. In director Brad Anderson's nightmarish film of writer Scott Kosar's bleak, disturbing script, Bale plays machine-shop lathe operator Trevor Reznik — a man so screwed up that, as he says, he hasn't slept in over a year. It doesn't look as if he's had much to eat either, although he occasionally drags himself to partake of the services rendered by a sympathetic hooker (Jennifer Jason Leigh, in her grimy, bruised, neurotic mode). Reznik's wasting away is so advanced that he truly looks as if he's just days from disappearing entirely. Not that Reznik's plane of reality is our own. A chilly metal-noir appearance — mostly grays and blues — gives "The Machinist" an otherworldly cast, further distorted by Reznik's hallucinogenic visions. It's a tortuous, haunting voyage into the mind of a mentally unbalanced individual, courtesy of a performance by Bale that is so brave, fierce and complete that it's hard to look away; and when violence and paranoia rear up, there's no certainty about what's real and what's a fevered delusion. At its most oblique, "The Machinist" still exerts an inexorable tug into its miasma of misery.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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