December 7, 2010
Christian Bale and Dicky Eklund
An early review of The Fighter from an AP critic David Germain (he's pretty good) is positive about the movie overall, but says that Christian Bale is especially great. He plays Dicky Eklund, Mark Wahlberg's half-brother, and a flamboyant and confident successful boxer himself, until he had some losses, then eventually became a crack addict and a wreck. Compared to Wahlberg's unsmiling, hard-working, blue-collar guy with a dream, Dicky Eklund sounds like a wonderfully colorful, exuberant wastrel: a complete disaster, but a lot of fun to watch.
Germain thinks that Christian Bale might have taken some inspiration from Heath Ledger's scene-stealing performance in The Dark Knight. While he had to stand there with his jaw clenched, reciting dull moralisms in that suit of armor, Ledger got to swagger around in his fright wig, gleefully smacking his lips through all the good lines. "Two years after Ledger's posthumous supporting-actor win at the Oscars, Bale might take home the same honor, for inhabiting a role with a different but equally ferocious sort of abandon," he writes.
You can see the real Dick Eklund, who's still alive, in HBO's 1995 documentary about Dicky and some other Lowell, MA crack addicts, High on Crack Street. It's available for instant viewing on Netflix, and you can watch the whole thing on YouTube.
The Best Supporting Actor Oscar race might come down to Geoffrey Rush for the hyper-British The King's Speech, Christian Bale, and John Hawkes in Winter's Bone. Hawkes is the kind of character actor I totally love, appearing in loads of big-budget and tiny movies and TV, and being entirely different in every role and completely memorable.
Bale's performances have been so uneven lately that I can't tell if he's good or not anymore. For every great, smart, subtle role he's done (I'm Not There, The Prestige, Rescue Dawn) he's done another one where he's a bland drip who gets upstaged by everybody (Public Enemies, 3:10 to Yuma, The Dark Knight).
The Fighter comes out Friday. Can't wait to see Bale chew some Lowell crackhead scenery.
TrackBack URL for this entry: