The Flowers of War

Beginning with a breakout role in Stephen Spielberg's Empire of the Sun, Christian Bale has entertained filmgoers for a quarter-century.  At 37, Bale's masterly commitment to each character is total.  Rather like Daniel Day-Lewis, his dexterity and careful selection have made him one of the industry's finest performers and, as it happens, one of the most highly sought-after.  Just a quick glance at his oeuvre reveals the actor's range: a sleep-deprived and sickly machinist, a deceptive magician, a psychopath, a strung-out ex-boxer, and, well, Batman. It is for his take on the tortured billionaire and bat that he is perhaps best-known, and fans of the franchise will see him don the cape once more in this summer's The Dark Night Rises.  But until then, Bale leads in another epic, Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War.  In it he plays an American caught up in the Japanese occupation of Nanking. While relatively few Westerners are familiar with the particulars of...(Read Full Article)