More people start diets in January than any month of the year. However, most dieters do not reach and sustain their goal weights. Often, actors will lose a lot of weight if they are cast in the role of a thin person. It might be easier for them since they do not have to commit to a permanent weight loss. An example of this is Matthew McConaughey in "Dallas Buyers Club," a role that recently earned him an Oscar nomination. Another example is Christian Bale in the 2004 movie "The Machinist." For this role, Bale, who was not overweight in the first place, lost 63 pounds, rendering him alarmingly emaciated.
In "The Machinist," Bale plays Trevor Reznik, who works as a machinist in a factory. He has suffered from insomnia for about a year, and he is extremely thin. Trevor spends much of his spare time hanging out with his friend Stevie (played by Jennifer Jason Leigh), a prostitute. Another one of his friends is Marie, a waitress who works at a restaurant he often visits. Because of his insomnia, Trevor is becoming mentally unstable and is experiencing delusions and hallucinations.
"The Machinist" is directed by Brad Anderson, who does an effective job making the film dark and disturbing. The score is very good. It is similar to scores from Alfred Hitchcock movies.
Christian Bale gives one of his most memorable performances as Trevor. His weight loss makes him look creepy. Yet he is not a villain. Jennifer Jason Leigh is also very good as Stevie, a friendly prostitute who falls for Trevor.
"The Machinist" is one of the more underrated films of the last several years.