Who’d have thought that director Adam McKay would be cinema’s leading political provocateur? The helmer of Stepbrothers, Talladega Nights, and The Big Short has become this era’s Oliver Stone. The difference is that Stone’s films were never this amusing. Both filmmakers have a seething contempt for their subjects, but each man goes about their dissertations in wildly different fashions.
Vice chronicles the life of former Vice President Dick Cheney (Christian Bale). It starts with his days in college and showcases the young Cheney as a ne’er-do-well with an unusually strong partner in his fiancé Lynne (Amy Adams). The film is narrated by a mysterious character (Jesse Plemons) who finally reveals his link to the title character in a third act revelation that is original, funny, and tragic. We follow the VP through his unconventional path to the White House and the critical decisions he made while serving as arguably the second most powerful man in the world.
Christian Bale’s acting skills are once again on display for audiences to marvel at. The magnitude of the role and the actor’s spot-on depiction of the powerful figure are worthy of the Oscar. While Adam McKay now moves into the ranks of cinema’s great directors. Vice is a film brimming with more intensity, humor, and immediacy than any of the other in the crop of Best Picture Nominees.
Director: Adam McKay
Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell