Film Friday 133

The Machinist

After not sleeping for over a year, factory worker Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) finds himself in a kind of a walking nightmare unsure of what is real and what is not. When he becomes distracted by a new co-worker called, Ivan (John Sharian) and causes a terrible accident, Trevor starts to believe that Ivan is out to ruin his life. But is Ivan real and what exactly is Trevor punishing himself for? Much is made of the shocking physical transformation Christian Bale went through to play this role and his incredible emaciation does add to his portrayal of this incredibly damaged character. In a way his appearance is a moot point, because this is a fascinatingly creepy tale about the power of guilt in which Bale gives his most impressive performance to date, not just because he got really thin. If you liked Fight Club, this is definitely for you. 4/5

What do you mean I look more like a bat than Batman?

What do you mean I look more like a bat than Batman?

Krabat and the Legend of the Satanic Mill

Desperate and starving after death of his parents from the plague, fourteen year old Krabat (David Kross) follows the call of a mysterious voice and finds himself taken on as one of the apprentices of a man known as the Master (Christian Reidl) at a remote mill. As Krabat fights to find his place amongst the other lads, he discovers that the Master is teaching them the black arts and that they are all trapped, on the road to being sacrificed to the grim reaper. When Krabat meets and falls in love with a girl from the nearby village (Paula Kalenberg), he must use all his cunning to find a way to gain his freedom before the Master finds out. This is based on a well-known German Young Adult novel from the 70’s and is impressively dark. However, it tends to drag a bit as well as suffering from shoddy special effects, and the overall effect is just really grim. Maybe that was the intention but it feels like it could have been so much more. 2.5/5

Roaming around the forest in a cape. Seems legit.

Roaming around the forest in a cape. Seems legit.

The Young Victoria

This biopic follows the life of Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt) as she grows from a child so cossetted that she not allowed to walk up or down stairs alone, to a self-assured and often stubborn ruler. With her courtship with Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) – apparently the whole penis ring thing is an early urban legend –  forming the centrepiece of the film, it’s quite special watching these two people, politically expected to marry actually fall in love with each other. My favourite part of the film is probably a blistering argument between the Queen and her husband where she forbids him to storm out on the basis that she is the Queen of England. Who hasn’t wanted to use that in an argument?? Anyway, Blunt is as charming and radiant as ever and Friend is actually pretty good playing a man deeply in love with his wife but struggling with his role as the subservient partner. 3/5

Having all the pointy trees you want, this is what being queen is all about, Victoria thought to herself.

Having all the pointy trees you want, this is what being queen is all about, Victoria thought to herself.

Belle de Jour

The ridiculously luminous Catherine Deneuve plays Severine, a board Parisian housewife who escapes the mundaneness of her marriage to the beautiful but boring, Pierre (Jean Sorrel) by beginning a secret career as a prostitute under the name Belle de Jour. It’s quite hard to describe this film without giving too much away since how much of what happens is real and how much is going on in Severine’s head is open to debate. When she becomes a little too involved with one of her thuggish clients (Pierre Clementi), things come to a head with shocking consequences for Severine. A fabulously stylish classic French head fuck. Tres jolie! 4/5

Severine couldn't decide what was more exciting, what was going on in the room next door of the funky ass acid trip wall paper

Severine couldn’t decide what was more exciting, what was going on in the room next door of the funky ass acid trip wall paper

6 Comments

  1. theipc

    Great post!!

  2. Abbi

    Thank-you!

  3. The Machinist is a tough watch…what Christian Bale won’t do for his role.

  4. Abbi

    it borders on being painful because he barely looks human he is so thin. To think of all the energy that role must have required and he can’t have been consuming much of anything. Real dedication there. Especially considering that that kind of thing will do long-term damage to your health.

  5. A lot of people have been implying Christian Bale is an intolerant egotist, and that’s possibly true. But he really is a method actor, and does have some real craft in his work regardless of how hard to work with he is. I think The Machinist is a really underrated film and wholeheartedly agree with the review.

    1. Abbi

      He’s had some excellent roles and I’ve really enjoyed a lot of his performances. He still kind of creeps me out though. Lol!

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