Movies American Psycho (2000, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe) Published 4 months ago on November 5, 2018 Dissecting a specific aspect of American popular culture in the 1980s, American Psycho is an extraordinary satire that stares deep into the heart of the narcissistic and materialistic world of the yuppie and finds only superficiality and ultra violence. Based on the controversial novel by Bret Easton Ellis, it reveals a primal and aggressive world where business is ruthless and power and money rule all. It is in this environment that Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) exists, at once the epitome of yuppie culture and a faceless clone of his fellow colleagues, Bateman’s extreme narcissism leads him on the road to murder and madness. Bale’s performance is superb, from his clipped American accent to his perfectly toned body, he plays Bateman with deadpan conviction – and as a result creates moments of the blackest comedy in the horrifying murder sequences. Bale moves from arrogant, obsessive and evil to a pathetic and mentally broken man; watching his crumbling veneer is both a mesmerising experience and a master class in acting. Much of Bateman’s torture and cruelty from the book is merely referenced here, steering the picture away from violent pornography and firmly in the direction of satire. The food, music, gadgets and interior design of the upper echelons of 80s American society are obsessively detailed here and are the crux of some of the best comedy moments in the film. While Mary Harron may have seemed an unlikely choice to head up the film (Oliver Stone was originally attached to the project), she pushes the work in interesting directions. Her previous feature was the excellent I Shot Andy Warhol , which explored the motivation of Valerie Solanas, the 60s radical feminist who murdered Andy Warhol. Here Harron hones in on an extreme male and the very particular picture of modern masculinity that Bateman embodies; one where male aggression is bred by business but left no physical outlets in modern western society. Covering similar ground to Fight Club, American Psycho can be read as a film that goes some way in exploring the crisis of the male in contemporary society. But it is ultimately the many layers and genres that Harron manages to include that create the film’s success: period piece, black comedy, cerebral horror movie and stinging satire all combine in a film that lingers slightly unpleasantly in the mind well after the credits have rolled. production details Canada – USA | 102 minutes | 2000 Director: Mary Harron Writer: Guinevere Turner, from Bret Easton Ellis’s novel cast Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman Willem Dafoe as Detective Donald Kimball Jared Leto as Paul Allen Josh Lucas as Craig McDermott Samantha Mathis as Courtney Rawlinson Matt Ross as Luis Carruthers Bill Sage as David Van Patten Chloë Sevigny as Jean Cara Seymour as Christie Justin Theroux as Timothy Bryce Guinevere Turner as Elizabeth Reese Witherspoon as Evelyn Williams Krista Sutton as Sabrina Reg E. Cathey as Al Anthony Lemke as Marcus Halberstram Stephen Bogaert as Harold Carnes Monika Meier as Daisy Blair Williams as Waiter #1 Marie Dame as Victoria Kelley Harron as Bar Girl Patricia Gage as Mrs. Wolfe Landy Cannon as Man at Pierce and Pierce Park Bench as Stash Catherine Black as Vanden Margaret Ma as Dry Cleaner Woman Peter Tufford Kennedy as Hamilton Mark Pawson as Humphrey Rhineback Jessica Lau as Facialist Lilette Wiens as Maitre Dí Glen Marc Silot as Waiter Charlotte Hunter as Libby Kiki Buttignol as Caron Joyce R. Korbin as Woman at ATM Reuben Thompson as Waiter #2 Bryan Renfro as Night Watchman Ross Gibby as Man Outside Store Christina McKay as Young Woman Alan McCullough as Man in Stall Connie Chen as Gwendolyn Ichiban Brett Alexander Davidson as Bartender (uncredited) Peter Loung as Dancer (uncredited) Joseph Oliveira as Restaurant Patron (uncredited) Leanne Poirier Greenfield as Party Girl (uncredited) Somaya Reece as Bar Girl (uncredited) Kate Steen as Pierce and Pierce Girl (uncredited) Bill SageBret Easton EllisCara SeymourChloe SevignyChristian BaleCrimeDramaGuinevere TurnerJared LetoJosh LucasJustin TherouxMary HarronMatt RossReese WitherspoonSamantha MathisThrillerWillem Dafoe Advertisement advertisement and this just in Episodes22 hours ago Miracle Workers: 12 Days (TBS Tues 26 Feb 2019) 12 Days: A troublesome human complicates Craig and Eliza’s plan, while Sanjay attempts to burnish his credentials. With Steve Buscemi,... 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BRITISH FILM 1930-1990The Viewer's Guide to British Film 1930-1990 Indepth guide to six decades of cinema in the UK.