Review: Vice

This extremely stylized depiction of Dick Cheney’s apparently silent and invisible rise to immense power is high on my list of best films that I have seen this year.

It intelligently leads you through an intricately woven story that many people would either not have noticed happening at the time, or haven’t even heard about since. Especially considering the times we’re living in now it was no surprise when various nods were given to the Trump administration. Cheney could arguably be seen as today’s Mike Pence. Most people haven’t even heard of him, and yet when you look at a man like Trump in power it’s hard to imagine he has the brains or resources to pull off some of the political atrocities that he has, not unlike Bush of the 2000s.

It follows the unexpected rise of Cheney’s success in a fast paced, engaging, witty, surprisingly funny way. The editing style is fresh and therefore immensely exciting so it’s no surprise that Hank Corwin picked up best Editor on Monday night at the BAFTAs.

The absolute master of disguise, Christian bale, once again doesn’t dare disappoint as he transforms into Dick Cheney. Such a distinguishable face is completely lost behind his character’s mannerisms and style. Amy Adams is what Amy Adams does so phenomenally well. Play her character. She dissolves into Lynne Cheney in a way that was surprising for a film that has already got such a colossal task of depicting something as complicated as the Iraq War. The filmmakers have actually managed to do both: tell a good, engaging story, and have a fully formed wife character. Miraculous. She’s surprising in the sense that you never really expect the wife to play that big of a part in political films such as these, when of course in real life it would be absurd to think that the wives of these men play no influence at all. And of course it goes without saying that Sam Rockwell (As George W. Bush) and Steve Carell (as Donald Rumsfeld) don’t dare disappoint. These two men seem to be relishing what appears to be some really significant career bests recently and this film is no exception. They are not only hilarious, but also just disturbing enough to remind us how truly messed up this story, our history, is.

This incredibly voluptuous piece of work doesn’t shy away from the more pertinent political undertones. It’s not scared to go beyond the confines of what may be considered safe and it certainly is outrageous in how it creatively portrays these real life events. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a true portrayal of history, but it’s not necessarily trying to be. Riddled with all kinds of contradictions, It’s giving us a version of the world we live in, a stylised, beautiful, completely fucked up version. I’m going to be honest and admit parts of the messaging were slightly lost on me. I can’t be sure if that’s my fault or the film’s but one thing is certain, I left feeling fulfilled and excited by what I had just witnessed, and therefore I would consider this a film doing something special.

Stay for the end sequence, it’s brilliant.

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Fiona Hughes

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