Road to Oscars: Vice

Vice out of all the films nominated for Best Picture, was the one I was the least excited about. I thought that this film was the mandatory political biography that’s made solely for Academy Award purposes. Other than this, I thought that this movie’s only redeeming point would be the acting, which has been the case for many biographical political films like Lincoln and The Iron Lady. Vice was nothing like those.

The film follows the story of Dick Cheney, the 46th Vice President of the United States who served under President George Bush from 2001 to 2009. The film shows his rise to power and how he became one of the most powerful vice presidents in United States history. The film shows how his wife, Lynne Cheney, was a major player in his run for Congress in 1978.

I was skeptical about this film. I thought that it was going to be boring and that it had only been receiving a lot of praise because Christian Bale wore a lot of makeup and prosthesis to look like Dick Cheney. I also thought that this film was going to be a two-hour-long mind-numbing glorification of the political figure and I thought that it would make him look like an unsung American hero that deserved more and whatever. I was wrong.

The film does not glorify Dick Cheney by any means. It is merely a critique of politics. It stresses the imperative of knowing who we are voting for: we might not notice how much of a key role those who surround the President have in the decisions that wind up affecting us all. The President does not hold all the power; those around him influence him to make the calls. In this way, the film also has the subtle message of “please care about politics”. It demonstrates how people turn against each other due to pure lies and how power hungry they get. It was very interesting to see this side of politics and how much more actually goes into it than we originally thought.

Another detail that I loved about this movie is how it isn’t narrated by Cheney or anyone close to him, but it’s instead narrated by a random Army veteran whose motifs are later revealed.

​​Christian Bale’s performance as Dick Cheney was outstanding. I loved how he had a calm demeanor throughout the entire movie, and I thought it was particularly brilliant how he captured Cheney’s cunning and every important political and personal aspect of his life. However, I think that the real standout of the film was Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney. She was basically Lady Macbeth. She constantly pushed her husband to do more while living vicariously through his choices.

Since women in the 20th century were not encouraged to pursue careers that didn’t involve staying at home, Lynne felt as if she had a sense of purpose by helping her husband pursue a political career. If I had to pick an award for this movie, it would definitely be the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Amy Adams. I think she gave the best performance of the entire film, plus it’s about time that Amy Adams gets an Oscar; she’s been robbed too many times.

Overall, Vice was an interesting look into politics and an enjoyable film, but I don’t think that it will wind up winning big on Oscar Night. I think it might only win Best Makeup, but there could be surprises.

Vice holds a total of 8 Academy Award nominations:

  • Best Picture for Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney
  • Best Actor for Christian Bale
  • Best Supporting Actor for Sam Rockwell
  • Best Supporting Actress for Amy Adams
  • Best Director for Adam McKay
  • Best Original Screenplay for Adam McKay
  • Best Film Editing for Hank Corwin
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling for Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney

Check out the trailer, and watch it before the Oscars!



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