Broadcast this evening on France 3, the great film “Hostiles” marked the return of Christian Bale to the western and to the foreground. For the occasion, he offers himself one of his most beautiful roles, and one of the most personal of his career.
Thirteen years ago, Christian Bale took his first steps in a western thanks to 3:10 for Yuma, before exploding the box office and earning his stripes as a pop culture icon with The Dark Knight considered, today again, as one of the best superhero movies ever made.
A decade later, the Welsh actor, Oscar winner in 2011 for his role in Fighter, sets foot in the Wild West in Hostiles, in order to escort an Indian chief to his land. The opportunity for him to find Scott Cooper, who had already directed him in The Braziers of Wrath, but above all to afford one of his most beautiful roles (and one of his most personal), within of a career that was not lacking in quality.
(Re) here is the trailer for the film, broadcast tonight on France 3 at 9:05 pm …
Revealed by Steven Spielberg and his Empire of the Sun in 1987, Christian Bale took some time to come to the fore. Born in 1974, the same year as Leonardo DiCaprio, he has long competed with the latter, and had even auditioned to be the Jack Dawson of Titanic.
Rejected by James Cameron, who did not want to have two British actors to play Americans, he remains docked and must wait until the early 2000s to finally explode. If American Psycho, the film, is not as striking as the novel from which it is inspired, its main interpreter is causing a sensation and it is in particular thanks to his incarnation of Patrick Bateman that he lands the role of … Batman .
After a chain Equilibrium – The Machinist, which proves his capacities in terms of action and shows how far he can go physically for a role, Batman Begins hits theaters worldwide in June 2005, and launches a big decade in the during which the comedian will explore various degrees of the figure of the hero.
There is first the Chosen One, undoubtedly the least convincing aspect, which he addresses in Terminator Renaissance then Exodus, and where his destiny is to save Humanity; the characters who dream of themselves as heroes but quickly become disillusioned, broken or cheated by their entourage and their environment, a common point of his performances with David O. Russell (Fighter then American Bluff); or the heroes out of necessity, forced to stand up against the enemy, as in Flowers of War or 3h10 for Yuma.
With Christian Bale, there is therefore no question of playing the valiant knights, without fear and without reproach, and it is precisely in their ambiguities that his heroes prove to be interesting. Even when they walk a tightrope, between Good and Evil, like his Batman, and the characters he plays in Scott Cooper: the avenging Russell Baze of the Blaze of Wrath, and the Joseph Blocker ofHostiles.
Three roles among the most beautiful and strong of his career, which is undoubtedly no coincidence, because it is in this configuration that the actor best expresses his physical and psychological qualities. It is also easy to draw parallels between the Bruce Wayne of The Dark Knight Rises and the Captain of the Western. Hostiles.
On one side or the other, it seems worn, shattered by years spent in the service of an ideal (to bring justice to Gotham City and to wage the war against the American Indians) which led him to controversial actions: in Batman Begins like at the end of The dark knight, where he endorses the status of Dark Knight at the same time as responsibility for the crimes of Double-Face, his status as a hero is constantly called into question. Especially when he fails to cross the border between justice and revenge to lead his crusade, and slips by hijacking the sonar created by Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) to make a tool of mass surveillance.
Not to mention the fact that it was his presence that would bring about the arrival of the Joker and Bane, as James Gordon (Gary Oldman) suggests at the end of Batman Begins, by evoking the one-upmanship at work among the wicked since the advent of the Batman.
The character’s actions create a blur, since he is both the cause of an outburst of violence and its solution. This same dynamic animates the character of Joseph Blocker in Hostiles and her heartbreak can be read in her eyes. He is indeed seen as a hero from the American camp, and as a barbarian through the eyes of Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi), who was one of his most devious enemies and whom he drives back to his lands, to atone for his faults and bury the …