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Talk about Method acting: Christian Bale (American Psycho) dropped over 60 pounds to play the title role in this psychological mystery directed by Brad Anderson (Next Stop Wonderland). By day Bale's emaciated loner operates heavy machinery, by night he finds solace with a call girl (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and in between he courts a single mom (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon)—he's got the time because he literally doesn't sleep. The color scheme of cool blues and grays accentuates the bleakness of the industrial landscape and the protagonist's increasing isolation and pallor, and the theremin on the sound track provides an otherworldly touch. Until now Bale's screen persona has been defined by a graceful athleticism; here his physicality is repellent, yet he carries the occasionally creaky plot of Scott Kosar's unsettling screenplay to a resonant finish. R, 102 min.

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