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Kristopher Tapley’s “Christian Bale” Avoids Taking Clear Stance on Film

In response to Kristopher Tapley’s 839‑word review of Out of the Furnace on HitFix 

http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/out-of-the-furnace-christian-bales-greatest-performance

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Kristopher Tapley doesn’t appear to be ready to make a clear statement on the film in his latest work “Out of the Furnace: Christian Bale’s greatest performance,” but he does deliver a dynamic reflection on the performance of Christian Bale.

As one who has spent numerous years at AFI Fest, it’s not difficult to imagine the scene after a fresh screening at Graumann’s Chinese Theatre and the chaos of Hollywood Rooselvelt after-parties. Tapley references this setting early on in Christian Bale, and notes the reactions of other critics, but oddly refuses to take a firm stance on the film himself. What he does instead is focus on the performance of Christian Bale, and succeeds with his argument despite offering little about the film.

One must understand that Christian Bale is not a movie review (let’s hope not), but it is a thorough look at the performance of the great actor. Tapley briefly mentions the chiaroscuro cinematography of Masanobu Takayanagi and the performance of Casey Affleck, but the other character mentions are a way to comment an Bale’s performance.

Tapley’s writing in Christian Bale will definitely make one excited about the actor’s performance, and the Caravaggio-esque depiction of his past characters is profound. The analysis of specific scenes are deep and moving, but one has to wonder why the critic never makes a clear statement on the actual film. Early reviews of polarizing films can be a scary time in the world of film criticism, to be sure.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation