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Feeding Christian Bale

Twice now—first in The Machinist, second in Rescue Dawn—Christian Bale has lost a fourth of his body weight for a role. Both performances are exceptional, and they raise the troubling question whether the man works better when fed or emaciated. In 3:10 to Yuma, for example, he portrays a man with a secret shame and a drive to make restitution for his sins, and he is good in the role. But at no point in the film does he look as though he has lived in a concentration camp. Likewise The Prestige and Batman Begins. And I cannot unequivocally say that his well-fed work does not suffer for it.