Christian Bale Rollercoaster

From Pacman to Public Enemies, he's had more ups and downs than most other actors of his generation. Christian Bale has careened between extreme highs and deep lows, in the view of the folks at MovieFill, and they decided that a rollercoaster was the most apt visual metaphor for his career. A reduced-size version can be seen above.

They squeeze most of his films into the chart, though they left out a few. Before his sensational role in Mary Harron's American Psycho, he was very appealing in Metroland and got good notices in Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine; pre-Batman Begins / The Dark Knight, he was fun to watch as a frisky villain in John Singleton's Shaft and an uptight, would-be psychiatrist in Laurel Canyon. I don't agree with every notation in the chart. Harsh Times, for example, is cited as one of his "lows," but Bale was riveting. Two notorious off-screen incidents are included, which both affected his public perception, though it seems somewhat unfair to lump those in with his films.

Still, the rollercoaster graphic provides an easy way to look back and consider the range and daring of what he's done, especially earlier in his career. Recently he's been in more big-budget productions than anything else, and next up is David O. Russell's boxing biopic The Fighter. I'd love to see him in a couple of smaller indie flicks. What are your thoughts on Christian Bale's career so far? More ups than downs?