‘The Pale Blue Eye’: Christian Bale and Edgar Allan Poe Solve Murders


This gothic thriller (Crazy Heart) by filmmaker Scott Cooper, shows a grizzled detective (Bale) and a young poet teaming up to investigate a series of murders.

It’s 1830 on the snowy New York campus of the United States Military Academy and a young cadet has been found hanged. The coroner and others eventually discovered that the man’s heart was stolen and a portion of a note, yet to be discovered, was hidden, clutched in the dead man’s hands. But Christian Bale is in this case. “The Pale Blue Eye” is played by Bale as detective Augustus Landor, the kind of man whose reputation – a dead wife, a missing daughter, alcoholism and great detective skills – precedes him like a scent that doesn’t sit well. . That means he’s the right guy for the job: he’s got nobody and he’s got nothing to lose either. One imagines that the specter of this enterprise, where the body count could certainly rise, is unlikely to be able to affect him.

The Pale Blue Eye

This case grows to the point of becoming satanic rituals, etc… . Well, it’s the cadet who finds Landor in a bar at night, and tells him: “The man you’re looking for is… a poet.” How does he know? Because he is also a poet. He must be.. Edgar Allan Poe. For us, that name means something.

This film, written and directed by Scott Cooper and based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Louis Bayard, is a production about a mystery. It’s a film centered on the poet, who is recruited into Landor’s company at first because of his gothic instincts, and perhaps because of his Old South accent.

Poe, played by the adventurer Harry Melling, is a romantic, who talks a lot, loves poetry and is someone we can delve into in relation to the mystery of this story.

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In this ‘team’ we have: Timothy Spall, Gillian Anderson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones and Simon McBurney. Melling really stands out on this team. He’s a romantic, not a cruel man.

The melancholy air of this film is intended to make it look like a beautiful version of American Gothic, but unfortunately it ends up disturbing some good parts of the plot. It gives the impression that the characters just move on… .

The Pale Blue Eye

But no doubt Bale and Cooper get along very well together. The actor starred in Cooper’s Out of the Furnace (2013) and Hostiles (2017). Cooper spent some time working as an actor before turning to directing. His directorial debut was Crazy Heart, which brought Jeff Bridges a late-career Oscar, and his most recent work, Hostiles.

The film is full of little trivia, almost none of them related to the satanic, heart-stealing mystery of its central story.

“Olho Azul Pálido”, with its gloomy and snowy landscapes, may seem like a mood in search of a better story. There’s a death to a large part of him, as if he couldn’t help getting excited about a truth that would eventually come out. Bale is the troubled soul who takes center stage, and the wider cast of West Point cadets – some of them are up to no good. It’s a team at the service of a story that doesn’t satisfy, when it finally decides to put the ‘loose ends’ together.

Bale takes the pain, but doesn’t go to extremes. Your detective is not committed to this being a job that will lift him out of his depression and give him a chance to redeem himself. Bale is somehow too balanced to dive into one “picture”. He approaches the role the way Landor seems, at first, to approach this crime: as a man at work, well, maybe… not much else. He’s the kind of actor worth watching even when the movie isn’t so worth it.

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