Christian Bale

Christian Bale

We haven't seen Christian Bale on the big screen since The Flowers of War and it has been four years since he last played Bruce Wayne.

But this week he is back with The Dark Knight Rises his third and final Batman movie - and the franchise looks set to go out with a bang.

So to celebrate the release of the movie we take a look at some of the greatest performances from the Oscar winning actor.

- The Fighter

Bale was widely regarded as one of the best actors to have never been nominated for an Oscar until he bagged the Best Supporting Actor gong for his superb turn in The Fighter.

Directed by David O.Russell and also starring Mark Wahlberg the movie told the story of boxer Micky Ward with Bale playing his troubled brother Dicky.

It’s another one of those above the call of duty performances from Bale as steals every scene that he is in.

Dicky was a man who struggled with drug addiction and Bale looks thin and wide-eyed as he has once again showed a physical commitment to his role.

- The Machinist

The Machinist remains Bale's most shocking performance as he lost a staggering 63 pounds for the role - he seriously is a bag of bones in this movie.

With his performance he showed his commitment to his role and this really is an incredibly harrowing performance.

This is a dark and quite eerie movie that looks at the effects of psychological torment - something which Bale played out quite beautifully.

He went above and beyond the call of duty for this role and it is a performance that should have been nominated by the Academy.

- Batman Begins/The Dark Knight

and if losing 63 pounds for a role was impressive he then had to put on 100 pounds to play Bruce Wayne aka Batman - and he had just a few months to make the transformation.

But it was a physical test that he passed with flying colours as he took on the role of Batman for the first time in 2005 with Batman Begins.

Teaming up with director Christopher Nolan the Batman franchise was rebooted and the first film sees Wayne struggling to find himself and his purpose.

And while Batman Begins was a success The Dark Knight three years later was a box office smash as it took over $1 billion at the global box office.

The Dark Knight is widely regarded as the greatest superhero movie of all time and sees Bale go head to head with Heath Ledger as The Joker - in what were the movie's most riveting scenes.

- Rescue Dawn

Directed by Werner Herzog the movie told the story of Dieter Dengler, the only American to ever break out of a POW camp in the Laotian jungle.

Bale turns in another astounding performance as Deiter Dengler, a man who's spirit is never broken as he fights for survival.

He embodies Dengler, once again pushing his body to the limit as he did in The Machinist, proving once again that he is one of the most intense and committed, yet watchable, stars as well as being one of the best actors around.

Rescue Dawn is a picture of men in dire straits and who are forced to look inside themselves digging deep as a a way to survive.

- American Psycho

American Psycho was released back in 2000 and it was a performance that really did grab everyone's attention as he took on the role of Patrick Bateman.

Directed by Mary Harron it was a hard hitting movie where Bale is just so great at being completely evil.

Other Christian Bale performances that are also pretty fantastic include Empire Of The Sun, The Prestige and 3:10 To Yuma.

The Dark Knight Rises is released 20th July

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw


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