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The Machinist (2004)

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An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.

Director:

Brad Anderson

Writer:

Scott Kosar
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Popularity
1,381 ( 73)
7 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Bale ... Trevor Reznik
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Stevie
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón ... Marie
John Sharian ... Ivan
Michael Ironside ... Miller
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. ... Jackson (as Larry Gilliard)
Reg E. Cathey ... Jones
Anna Massey ... Mrs. Shrike
Matthew Romero Moore ... Nicholas (as Matthew Romero)
Robert Long Robert Long ... Supervisor Furman
Colin Stinton ... Inspector Rogers
Craig Stevenson ... Tucker
Ferran Lahoz Ferran Lahoz ... Gonzales
Jeremy Xido ... Evangelisti
Norman Bell Norman Bell ... DMV Clerk
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Storyline

Trevor Reznik is a machinist in a factory. An extreme case of insomnia has led to him not sleeping in a year, and his body withering away to almost nothing. He has an obsessive compulsion to write himself reminder notes and keep track of his dwindling weight, both scribbled on yellow stickies in his apartment. The only person he lets into his life in an emotional sense is Stevie, a prostitute, although he has an infatuation with Maria, a single mother waitress working in an airport diner. His co-workers don't associate with and mistrust him because of not knowing what is going on in his life that has led to his emaciated physical appearance. A workplace incident further alienates him with his coworkers, and in conjunction with some unfamiliar pieces of paper he finds in his apartment, Trevor believes that someone or some people - probably one or some of his coworkers - are out to get him, using a phantom employee named Ivan as their front. As Trevor goes on a search for evidence as to... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How can you wake up from a nightmare if you are not asleep? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and disturbing images, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain | France | UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

3 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El maquinista See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,661, 24 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,082,715, 7 April 2005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,203,235, 31 December 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Oddly enough, Christian Bale claimed that he actually enjoyed losing so much weight, oftentimes finding himself in a euphoric state due to the extreme condition he subjected himself to. As well he was able to deal with the very hot July and August temperatures in Barcelona much better than the rest of the crew. See more »

Goofs

Though the film is set in California, the pavement markings in the streets are European, e.g. no center yellow stripes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ivan: Who are you?
See more »

Connections

References Fight Club (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Lunar Rhapsody
(1948)
Written by Buddy Feyne (as Budy Feine) & Harry Revel
Worldwide Publisher Michael H. Goldsen Inc.,
sub-publisher for Spain and Portugal Alondra Music, S.L.
Performed by Les Baxter
(p) 1948 Capitol Records
Licensed by EMI Music Spain, Madrid, Spain 2004
Special products department - exclusive assignee
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A strong mood piece, but not for everyone
29 October 2004 | by SurecureSee all my reviews

There are many good things about The Machinist that are well deserving of praise. The very atmospheric nature of the film is supported very strongly by excellent performances all around. Christian Bale takes things to the extreme in his embodiment of his character. It is hard to take seeing him in his near-starvation body mass, which elevates the tension of this piece even further. The storyline leaves a little to be desired. While it creates its mood excellently, it does tend to plod along a little too much.

One thing that does stand out is how reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock this film plays. Almost everything about the film screams Hitchcock, from the editing of certain scenes (the driving sequences are very much in the style of Psycho) to the Bernard Herrmann-esquire score (lots of bass clarinet), the lack of fully-exploring/revealing some of the creepier points of the film (what is dripping from the fridge?), and the washed out, grainy photography. If you want to see what a film would look like if Hitchcock were alive to film it today, this is the closest thing you could probably come across. And if that was part of Brad Anderson's intention in directing this, I have to commend him on the execution because it is uncanny.

Overall, I would recommend this film, but not to casual movie-goers. This is very much a movie-phile experience for those who appreciate character development and cinematography as much as plot points and a storyline that can be defined and followed from one action to the next. In that way it is closer to films like Magnolia or the Others, where the apex is the characters. If you are looking for a typical popcorn Hollywood thriller, this is not what you are looking for.


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