Penelope Magnani reviews another Oscars nominee: “Vice”

Following through on the road to the Oscars, we have Adam Mckay’s “Vice”, also known as Richard ‘Dick’ Cheney’s life and his time as Vice POTUS of the USA between 2001 and 2007. The movie itself wasn’t hyped. Having been nominated for Oscars, and being myself a massive Oscars fanatic, I had to go watch it. Adam Mckay, the famous director of “The Big Short”, delivered us the brilliance that is, “Vice”. 

Christian Bale is probably one of the best actors in the circuit. If you thought he did a good job in Batman, or more importantly American Psycho, think again. Taking over the role of Dick Cheney himself, he delivered the lines with crude humor and the precision of a seasoned actor. Bale takes us inside the mind of a master of war, making us experience the whole movie as if we were really there. When Dick Cheney was in power I was partially not even alive and then too young to even know what was going on. I don’t remember the 9/11 attack, but Bale’s acting makes me feel as if I was in the room with him. 

Amy Adam takes the role of Cheney’s wife, Lynne. Adam’s delivery of the devoted Lynne Cheney is beyond good. Her interpretation of the strong character that Lynne was, while not doing it in an overly feminist way and remaining true to the decades that this movie was set in, was impeccable. It is also important to say that the entire casting team did an amazing work at finding the right actors for their perfect roles. Steve Carell’s delivery of Donald Rumsfeld, as well as the fact that they look strangely alike, made the movie even more life-like. 

I cannot stress enough how good the script was. The script is addressed to everyone, and will interest anyone, whether they are interested in US Politics or not. Adam Mckay’s directing truly brought to life the already amazingly sarcastic script. The camera shots were appropriate, and the last scene was so well directed it brought chills. The way that the movie broke the 4thwall with the voice over explanations also added to the subtle humor of the film. 

No one has ever expected a movie about a Vice President, because usually they are almost just an honorary figure. I can’t say to know much on the topic, but what the movie showed was something unexpected and new. Without spoiling too much, when people expect George W. Bush to have been the real MVP during the 2001 crisis, we actually see Dick Cheney stepping up as almost the real POTUS. 

It is however, with great sadness that I have to say that the chances that this movie will Best Picture at the Oscars are quite slim. The competition is high, and chances for a comedy to win such a prestigious award are quite slim. In the last 19 years, the only four non-dramatic movies to have won the Best Picture awards are “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”, “Chicago”, “The Hurt Locker” and “No Country for Old Men”. Moreover, this years’ nominee have to compete with the acclaimed “Roma” – the certain winner – and “Bohemian Rhapsody – the winner of ‘people’s hearts’. I do sincerely hope that “Vice” wins some award, and I’ll be cheering on Bale and Adam till the end.

Until then, “Vice” remains the little known but extremely worth watching film on the ‘fake’ POTUS that changed the US and its politics for the decades to come. 

Valentina Gomes dos Santos
vg17498@essex.ac.uk