This weekend, Adam McKay’s follow-up to The Big Short premiered for the critics and awards voters. The last of the major Best Picture contenders, Vice has been building up buzz ever since it was announced that Christian Bale would undergo heavy makeup and weight gain to play Dick Cheney, George W. Bush’s Vice President. And as the news trickles in about the film’s awards chances, I realize now that I forgot to ever provide a write-up for the film’s trailer. So I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone by posting the trailer for you all while also updating you on the word on the street.
Adam McKay is back with another scathing political satire walking the line of gut-bustingly funny and darkly sobering. The film tells the story of Dick Cheney’s (Bale) rise to power, from his time in Gerald Ford’s (Bill Camp) to the fateful day when George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) asked him to be his Vice President. The film also explores the repercussions and the historical impact that Cheney, Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld’s (Steve Carell) decisions had on the United States over the course of the next twenty years.
The first thing you notice about this trailer (other than McKay’s distinctive style) is that Bale is unrecognizable as Cheney. The voice, the look, and the mannerisms are astonishing in their mimickery. And apparently, that sense of transformation never leaves as Bale has been receiving rave reviews for his tragic, complex turn as the embattled 44th VP. And he isn’t alone: the film has been racking up acclaim for its sobering, complex look at Cheney, his inner workings, and what was going on in the early 2000s. The way the film crafts the story as a Shakespearean tragedy has been compared to Oliver Stone’s Nixon, a film that I greatly enjoy and piques my interest here. Furthermore, I love hearing that the cast is truly great, from the top down, with Rockwell and Carell both putting up great performances as a naïve, but genial Bush and a scheming Rumsfeld, Tyler Perry and Alison Pill stealing scenes as Colin Powell and Mary Cheney, and especially Amy Adams, who is likely a Supporting Actress frontrunner for her work as Lynne Cheney. The film will likely be a top contender for Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Makeup, and Editing, and the trailer below should tell you why. Vice will open on December 25th, and you can expect its name to appear several times during the coming awards season.