Writer/ director Adam McKay (The Big Short)’s unflattering Dick Cheney biopic Vice is one of the last major releases of the year considered to be a major awards contender.
Christian Bale is Bradley Cooper’s toughest competition in the Best Actor Oscar race for his transformative work as the former Vice President of the United States. Amy Adams deserves all the Oscars traction she gets for similarly stunning work as his driving wife Lynne Cheney.
Vice has gotten mixed reviews from critics; it’s fairly polarizing. I just saw it—and I have to be honest; I kind of loved it. It’s garish and mean–but that’s kind of where we’re at right now. The performances are phenomenal.
What surprised me the most about Vice is that the film’s heartbeat is an affecting subplot about Mary Cheney (Alison Pill)’s homosexuality. When we first see Mary, she’s leaving school, sobbing uncontrollably because her girlfriend has broken up with her. She comes out to her parents. Dick comforts her, and tells her he loves her no matter what. Lynne, who’s largely portrayed as the driving force behind Dick’s political ambitions, is much colder. She tells Mary, “This is going to make things so much harder for you.”
Dick is portrayed mostly as a monster in this movie, but his seemingly unconditional love for his daughter is his soft spot. He keeps her out of the spotlight; he even pushes some of his political ambitions aside to save Mary from scrutiny. As the story progresses, though, Dick becomes more callous.
It’s no use giving it all away here, but I thought it was more than worth mentioning that the most affecting part of this big awards-season release was an LGBTQ character’s arc. I recommend the movie for this and many other reasons.
From Annapurna Pictures, Vice opens Christmas Day.