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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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1,174 ( 117)
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

Roque Baños' score is a deliberate homage to the work of Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Hitchcock's favorite composer. There is also a nod to Miklós Rózsa in the use of the theremin which Rozsa employed to Oscar-winning effect for his score to Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945) in 1945. See more »

Goofs

(at around 55 mins) Trevor flips the light switch a couple of times. The last time he does so, he flips it down, even though it is already down. However, an added clicking sound can be heard. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

References Rottweiler (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

After Hours
Written by Tommy Carter
(c) British Audio Cathalogue
Authorised by Konga Music, S.L., exclusive subpublisher for Spain
All rights reserved
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

'Thinner' meets 'Memento' by way of 'Angel Heart' a la Hitchcock
25 October 2004 | by george.schmidtSee all my reviews

THE MACHINST (2004) ***1/2 Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, John Sharian, Michael Ironside, Reg E. Cathey.

'Thinner' meets 'Memento' by way of 'Angel Heart' a la Hitchcock

There are a few select actors who have gained or shed weight to make a true transformation on screen but the one that will probably remain imprinted for years to come is the truly shocking display by Christian Bale who lost a whopping 63 lbs. to a skeletal shell of 120 for his portrayal of dank creepy perfection.

Bale stars as the afflicted Trevor Reznik, a shell of a man who works in a machine factory and apparently is nursing some horrible demon that has led to his astonishing appearance, ghostly pallor and paranoia soaked delusions that call to question his amazing confession: How can a man not sleep for an entire year and waste away to a shadow of his being and keep his sanity?

The answer isn't so transparent as Reznik becomes submerged in some sort of dreamscape nightmare of conspiracy theories and the innate distrust of his own mind playing tricks on him one night when he encounters the perpetually grinning Ivan (Sharian sporting the sharkiest Cheshire Cat smile in recent film memory) an apparently new shift employee who distracts him to the point of a horrific accident that causes his employer and co-worker to mistrust him and suspect his deteriorating looks as something a tad more sinister.

Reznik's only solace is in literally a mother-whore relationship he shares with a well-meaning lovely waitress (Sanchez-Gizon) at the airport diner he frequents as much as the hooker he lies with to express his thoughts and odd happenings (Leigh in her umpteenth whore role that must have filled her quota by now).

After the accident Reznik is plagued with a series of Post-Its sporting a game of hangman that leads to a few clues to his rationale and ultimately to his fate of 'Who Am I?'

Directed by Anderson who helmed the criminally underrated spooky horror flick 'Session 9' a few years back returns to a dark story of a man clearly unraveling and destroying himself in the process that echoes Stephen King's 'Thinner' by way of the identity crises of 'Memento' and the psychological thriller 'Angel Heart' yet invokes a sharply executed script by Scott Kosar (who penned the worthy remake of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' last year) that recalls David Fincher meets David Lynch paroxysms of fate and the build up to a discovery that is all too recognizable to the thriller genre in recent years of identity masked as phobic reality with its latter day Hitchcock everyman skewed nicely. Kudos to cinematographers Xavi Gimenez and Charlie Jiminez for its bleak, green/grey drudgery and the Herrmannesque score by Roque Banos mixes perfectly to the dread at hand displays.

Bale went above and beyond the call of duty in his somewhat controversial display of Holocaust invoking demeanor yet it works shockingly well as it delves into the troubled soul of a man who is wasting away not only as a metaphor but as a penance for some hell to pay.


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