R | 2h 12min | Biography, Comedy, Drama | 25 December 2018 (USA)
Synopsis: The story of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.
Award probability: 90% for Christian Bale who put on several pounds to bring Cheney to the big screen as well as Amy Adams who plays his wife, Lynne. In fact there are few films this year with a more superb ensemble cast.
Review: One of my favorite films to watch this year was writer/director Adam McKay’s VICE. Social media has had a field day blasting the film for its “fake news” representation of several of the events. But all of that aside no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. McKay may have missed the mark on a few things but the film itself is entertaining and informative none the less.
We watch Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) from his early college years through his political rise to power during the G. W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) administration. His quiet man approach to tough decision making is only one of the elements that make Cheney an intriguing character to watch. His family life is in perfect balance with his political career and we get a strong dose of both.
What makes this film so incredible is the work of McKay. He brings the same brilliant story telling to this as he did to the 2016 award winner The Big Short. It is fast paced and creative in its narrative. I learned more about the political process in 120 minutes than I did in years of modern schooling. All of your favorite 90’s government officials; Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell), Condoleezza Rice (LisaGay Hamilton), Colin Powell (Tyler Perry), and Henry Kissinger (Kirk Bovill) make appearances in this one.
My advice going into this one is to just enjoy the ride and take everything with a grain of salt. If you come in waiving your party flag screaming “fake news” you are going to miss all the fun and, to be honest, the point. Wonderful performances and a glimpse at our nations history catapult this one into the award limelight.
VICE is rated R for language and some violent images. Don’t even bother taking your teens. They will be board with the adult topics and old people dialogue unless they are poli-sci majors; then they will be right at home.