When most of us think of a young Christian Bale, we think NEWSIES. I dont know if it gets any better than scrappy/dreamy Jack Kelly singing on a fire escape in 1890s New York. If you think back further, you may have a vague recollection of a Spielberg movie about WWII and a little boy. One of my favorite films of all time – and one I haven’t heard talked about in far too long - is EMPIRE OF THE SUN, starring a 13-year-old Christian Bale.
Bale is Jim Graham, a rich, English kid living in Shanghai. He is separated from his parents and winds up in a Japanese internment camp with shady folks like John Malkovich’s stranded steward, Basie. It’s a profound tale of the loss of innocence and the perseverance of the human spirit. Funny, heartwarming, devastating, inspiring and all those themes of which Spielberg has become the master in translating to film, Empire of the Sun is not to be missed.