In the Posterized series we look at a whole career though the most enduring bit of movie marketing: the poster. You'd think that when two of your first three film roles as a young boy were Oscar nominated wonders (Henry V and Empire of the Sun), there'd be nowhere to go but down. In the case of Christian Bale, you'd be wrong. His rise to the top, though, was not without its long stretches of 'this might not happen at all.' Younger readers might not realize that Bale was a fan favorite in the 1990s -- "Baleheads" they called his stans -- long before fandom was empowered by the internet. His star might have risen a lot faster if tumblr had been in existence during his slow climb.
Now, of course, his career is very much happening / has happened. The literally shape-shifting A lister has two new movies opening this weekend (Out of the Furnace) and next (American Hustle) and he's skinny in one and thick in the other as is his way. Also his way: winning "Great Actor" reviews for every single performance. It's always an unpleasant surprise to remember that he's only ever been Oscar nominated once (The Fighter). At least he won on his first and only shot at gold to date.
Let's look at his career from the very beginning. How many of these 36 have you seen?