American Psycho – 9/10

Patrick Bateman’s mask of sanity begins to slip and not even Whitney Houston can keep him sane.

Christian Bale is at his peak as Patrick Bateman. It is easy to forget amidst all the Batman hysteria that Bale was once a brilliant character actor capable of playing wildly different roles and he is at his absolute best here. He brings a clinical, dead behind the eyes, coldness to Patrick Bateman whilst still being eminently watchable.

Endlessly quotable, equal parts grotesque and hilarious and unlike anything I have seen before, American Psycho is quite simply one of the best films of our generation. Whilst films such as Wall Street captured the grotesque greed of American bankers and traders, American Psycho lays bare the utter absurdity and most of all the falseness of that lifestyle. Upon reading the book it shows just what a great job director Mary Harron has done here as it is definitely not an easy work to translate to film – not just the shocking violence but the overall tone and message of  Bret Easton Ellis’ masterpiece.

‘I can always get you a lime…’

In support, Willem DaFoe pulls from all of his emotional range to make detective Kimble a nice guy whilst also exuding menace and suspicion. Reese Witherspoon does well to deal with the charisma of Bale when sharing the screen and is almost his match. Indie queen Chloe Sevigny is awkwardly brilliant as Bateman’s long suffering assistant Jean and Louis’ cousin Justin Theroux has so much fun playing Bateman’s terrible friend Timothy Bryce I would swear he actually was on coke the whole time. It is Bale who steals the show however, with what should have been an Academy award winning performance as Patrick Bateman.

American Psycho was is still one of the best films produced since the turn of the 21st century. Massively underrated.

I have to return some videotapes.

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