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Vice is a 2018 American biographical comedy-drama film written and directed by Adam McKay. The film stars Christian Bale as former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney,[4] with Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Tyler Perry, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe, and Jesse Plemons in supporting roles. The film follows Cheney on his path to become the most powerful Vice President in American history.[5][6] It is the second theatrical film to depict the presidency of George W. Bush, following Oliver Stone's W. (2008).

Vice
Vice (2018 film poster).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam McKay
Produced by
Written byAdam McKay
Starring
Music byNicholas Britell
CinematographyGreig Fraser
Edited byHank Corwin
Production
company
Distributed byAnnapurna Pictures
Release date
Running time
132 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$60 million[1][2]
Box office$73.6 million[3]

Vice was released in the United States on December 25, 2018, by Annapurna Pictures, and grossed $73.6 million worldwide. The film divided critics, as some lauded it as "cleverly biting", while others denounced it as "a clumsy display of political hatred", with McKay's screenplay and direction receiving both "scathing critiques and celebratory praise". Despite the polarized reception for the film itself, the performances, particularly those of Bale and Adams, received universal praise.[7][8]

The film received numerous awards and nominations, with eight nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, including a Best Picture nomination and a win for Best Make-Up and Hairstyling. It also had a leading six nominations at the 76th Golden Globe Awards (including a nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy), and six nominations at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards. For their performances, Bale, Adams, and Rockwell were nominated at all three shows, with Bale winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Contents

PlotEdit

Vice is narrated by Kurt, a fictitious veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. The film opens with Dick Cheney and other White House officials and staff responding to the September 11, 2001, attacks. The film then flashes back to Wyoming in 1963, where Cheney finds work as a lineman after his struggles with alcohol led him to drop out of Yale University. After Cheney is stopped by a traffic cop for driving while intoxicated, his wife Lynne Cheney convinces him to clean up his life.

The film flashes forward to 1969 when Cheney finds work as a White House intern during the Nixon Administration. Working under Nixon's economic adviser, Donald Rumsfeld, Cheney becomes a savvy political operative as he juggles commitments to his wife and their daughters, Liz and Mary. Cheney overhears Henry Kissinger discussing the secret bombing of Cambodia with President Richard Nixon, revealing the true power of the executive branch to Cheney. Rumsfeld's abrasive attitude leads to him and Cheney being distanced from Nixon, which works in both men's favor; after Nixon's resignation, Cheney rises to the position of White House Chief of Staff for President Gerald Ford while Rumsfeld becomes Secretary of Defense. The media later dubs the sudden shake-up in the cabinet as the Halloween Massacre. During his tenure, a young Antonin Scalia introduces Cheney to the unitary executive theory.

After Ford is voted out of office, Cheney runs to be representative for Wyoming. After giving an awkward and uncharismatic campaign speech, Cheney suffers his first heart attack. While he recovers, Lynne campaigns on her husband's behalf, helping him to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. During the Reagan Administration, Cheney supports a raft of conservative, pro-business policies favoring the fossil fuel industries. Cheney next serves as Secretary of Defense under President George H. W. Bush during the Gulf War. Outside of politics, Cheney and Lynne come to terms with their younger daughter, Mary, coming out as lesbian. Though Cheney develops ambitions to run for president, he decides to retire from public life to spare Mary from media scrutiny.

During the presidency of Bill Clinton, Cheney becomes the CEO of Halliburton while his wife raises golden retrievers and writes books. A false epilogue claims that Cheney lived the rest of his life healthy and happy in the private sector and credits begin rolling, only for them to abruptly end as the film continues.

Cheney is invited to become running mate to George W. Bush during the 2000 United States presidential election. Recognizing that the younger Bush is more interested in pleasing his father than attaining power for himself, Cheney agrees on the condition that Bush delegates "mundane" executive responsibilities, such as energy and foreign policy, to him. As Vice President, Cheney works with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, legal counsel David Addington, Mary Matalin, and the Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, to exercise control of key foreign policy and defense decisions throughout Washington.

The film returns to the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, as Cheney and Rumsfeld maneuver to initiate and then preside over the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, resulting in the killing of civilians and the torture of prisoners. As the War on Terror mounts, Cheney continues to struggle with persistent heart attacks. The film also covers various events from his vice presidency, including his endorsement of the unitary executive theory, the Plame affair, the accidental shooting of Harry Whittington, and tensions between the Cheney sisters over same-sex marriage. Cheney's actions are shown to lead to thousands of deaths and the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq, resulting in him receiving record-low approval ratings by the end of the Bush administration.

While narrating Cheney's tearful deathbed goodbye to his family after another hospitalization, Kurt is killed in a motor accident while jogging. In March 2012, his healthy heart is transplanted into Cheney. A few months later, Cheney acquiesces to his daughter Liz's saying she is opposed to same-sex marriage when she runs for a Senate seat in Wyoming, leaving Mary angry and upset. Liz later wins the election to her father's former Congressional position. At the end of the film, an irate Cheney breaks the fourth wall and delivers a monologue to the audience, stating that he has no regrets about anything he has done in his career.

A mid-credits scene depicts a focus group descending into chaos when a right-winger slams the film itself as biased and attacks a liberal panelist, while two younger panelists discuss the next The Fast and the Furious movie.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

On November 22, 2016, it was announced that Paramount Pictures had come on board to handle the rights to a drama about Dick Cheney, who moved from Halliburton CEO to become reputedly the most powerful Vice President in American history; the screenplay was to be written by Adam McKay, who would also direct.[9] The film was produced by Plan B producers Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, along with McKay and his Gary Sanchez partners Will Ferrell and Kevin Messick.[9] Bale signed on to play Cheney in April 2017, and gained 40 pounds (18 kg) for the role.[10][11]

On August 22, Bill Pullman was cast as Nelson Rockefeller (though did not appear in the finished film), and a title, Backseat, was announced. It was later changed to Vice.[12] On August 31, Sam Rockwell was cast as George W. Bush.[13] In September 2017, Adam Bartley joined the cast.[14]

Principal production commenced in late September 2017.[15] Tyler Perry and Lily Rabe joined the film in October as Colin Powell and Liz Cheney, respectively.[16][17]

ReleaseEdit

Vice was released in both Canada and the United States on December 25, 2018.[18][19] It was previously scheduled for release on December 14, 2018.[20] The film opened in the U.K. on January 25, 2019, with most of Europe and Hong Kong following with February 2019 release dates.[21] The film premiered at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on December 11, 2018.[22]

The official trailer was released on October 3, 2018.[19] Vice was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on April 16, 2019.

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

Vice has grossed $47.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $25.8 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $73.6 million, against a production budget of $60 million.[3]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Holmes & Watson on Christmas Day and was projected to gross around $13 million from 2,378 theaters over its first six days.[23][24] It made $4.8 million on its first day and $2.9 million on its second.[25] The film went on to have a first weekend gross of $7.8 million, for a six-day total of $17.7 million.[26] According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film performed its "best on both coasts, versus America's heartland, although some theaters in markets including Dallas, Houston and Phoenix turned in respectable business".[27] It then made $5.8 million in its second weekend and $3.3 million in its third.[28][29]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 66% based on 316 reviews, and an average rating of 6.7/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Vice takes scattershot aim at its targets, but writer-director Adam McKay hits some satisfying bullseyes—and Christian Bale's transformation is a sight to behold."[30] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score 61 out of 100, based on 54 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[31] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 72% and a 49% "definite recommend".[25] The critical response to Vice made it one of the worst-reviewed films to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.[32][33]

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter, who named the film his favorite of 2018, wrote: "Across the board in Vice, everyone has risen to the occasion of their individual challenges, none of them easy, to collectively pull off a political satire that both provokes great laughs and hits home with some tragic truths".[34] Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film a "B–" and called it "messy but ambitious", writing: "Vice, in its rambunctious and unfocused manner, takes some ludicrous risks to make cogent points about Cheney's malicious intent—and how he put his plans into action".[35] By contrast, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian awarded the film 4/5 stars, and wrote that Bale "captur[es] the former vice-president's bland magnificence in Adam McKay's entertainingly nihilist biopic".[36]

Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers praised the film, giving it a 4/5 rating and writing: "Adam McKay's flamethrowing take on Dick Cheney, played by a shockingly brilliant Christian Bale, polarizes by being ferociously funny one minute, bleakly sorrowful the next, and ready to indict the past in the name of our scarily uncertain future."[37]

Stephanie Zacharek of Time gave the film a negative review, describing Vice as an "exhausting film that turns Dick Cheney into a cartoon villain".[38] Ikon London Magazine, while praising the make-up artistry of Greg Cannom,[39] noted that "the story reminds of a witch hunt".[40]

Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post praised Bale's performance as Cheney but criticized the story pacing, awarding the film 2/5 stars. Hornaday had issues with the film's structure, writing that the film is "a mess, zigging here and zagging there, never knowing quite when to end, and when it finally does, leaving few penetrating or genuinely illuminating ideas to ponder".[41] Similarly, Scott Mendelson of Forbes praised Bale's and Amy Adams's performances, but criticized the film as a "cinematic mediocrity".[42]

AccoladesEdit

Vice was nominated for six Golden Globe awards at the 76th annual ceremony, the most nominations of any film,[43] with Bale winning for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.[44] The film was subsequently nominated for eight awards at the 91st Academy Awards (winning Best Make-Up and Hairstyling),[45] nine awards at the 24th Critics' Choice Awards (winning Best Actor and Best Actor in a Comedy for Bale),[46] and six awards at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards (winning Best Editing).[47] Additionally, the film was nominated for Cinema for Peace's Most Valuable Film of the Year award 2019.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ "Annapurna Upheaval: Megan Ellison Is 'Reevaluating' Film Division Amid Money Woes". TheWrap. October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Vice (2018)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  4. ^ "Christian Bale cast as Dick Cheney in biopic". Page Six. April 12, 2017. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  5. ^ Agar, Chris (August 18, 2017). "Dick Cheney Biopic: George W. Bush Actor & More Revealed". Screen Rant. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Valnet, Inc. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Patten, Dominic (August 22, 2017). "Bill Pullman joins Jeff Bridges' Dick Cheney movie as a veep himself". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  7. ^ Nickolai, Nate (December 17, 2018). "'Vice' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying". Variety. New York City: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  8. ^ Foreman, Alison (December 17, 2018). "'VICE' divides critics in early reviews". Mashable. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr. (November 22, 2016). "Adam McKay To Direct Dick Cheney Movie At Paramount". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  10. ^ Coyle, Jake (April 12, 2017). "Christian Bale to play Dick Cheney in Adam McKay's biopic". The Seattle Times. Seattle, Washington: Seattle Times Company. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  11. ^ Miller, Julie (October 2, 2017). "See Christian Bale's Incredible Dick Cheney Transformation in First Vice Photo". Vanity Fair. New York City: Condé Nast. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  12. ^ Patten, Dominic (August 22, 2017). "Bill Pullman Joins Adam McKay's Dick Cheney Movie As A Veep Himself". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (August 31, 2017). "Sam Rockwell to Play George W. Bush in Adam McKay's Dick Cheney Biopic (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  14. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (September 19, 2017). "Adam Bartley Joins Adam McKay's Dick Cheney Film; Elaine Hendrix Cast In 'Burying Yasmeen' Indie". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (August 31, 2017). "Sam Rockwell in Talks to Play George W. Bush in Adam McKay's 'Cheney'". Variety. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  16. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 10, 2017). "Tyler Perry To Play Colin Powell In Adam McKay's Dick Cheney Pic". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  17. ^ Busch, Anita (October 12, 2017). "Lily Rabe Will Portray Liz Cheney In Annapurna Feature About Dick Cheney". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
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  19. ^ a b Sippell, Margeaux (October 3, 2018). "Christian Bale Transforms Into Dick Cheney in 'Vice' First Trailer (Watch)". Variety. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 9, 2018). "Annapurna Dates Films By Adam McKay, Babak Anvari & Sundance Acquisition 'Sorry To Bother You'". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  21. ^ "Vice Release Info". IMDb. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  22. ^ St. Clair, Matthew (December 12, 2018). "'Vice': Stars were on the red carpet for the world premiere in LA". USA Today. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  23. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 18, 2018). "'Aquaman' Darting To $120M+ In Competitive Christmas 5-Day Corridor – Box Office Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  24. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 27, 2018). "'Aquaman' $16.9M Wednesday Bests 'Last Jedi' & 'Black Panther'; DC Superhero Will Fly To $54M Second Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  25. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 26, 2018). "'Aquaman' Unwraps $22M+ On Christmas For $105M+ Cume; 'Holmes & Watson' Opens To $6M+; 'Vice' $4M+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  26. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 30, 2018). "'Aquaman' Sailing To $52M+ 2nd Weekend; $189M+ Cume Pacing Ahead Of 'Doctor Strange' & 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  27. ^ Specialty Box Office: 'On the Basis of Sex', 'Vice' Lure Urban Liberal Moviegoers
  28. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 6, 2018). "'Aquaman' Still The Big Man At The B.O. With $30M+; 'Escape Room' Packs In $17M+ – Early Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
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  32. ^ Graham, Michael (January 22, 2019). "Is "Vice" The Worst Best-Picture Nominee EVER?". InsideSources. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  33. ^ Fallon, Kevin (22 January 2019). "Oscars: Are 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'Vice' the Worst Best Picture Nominees Ever?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  34. ^ McCarthy, Todd (December 17, 2018). "'Vice': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  35. ^ Kohn, Eric (December 17, 2018). "'Vice' Review: Christian Bale Is a Perfect Dick Cheney, But the Satire Tries Too Hard". IndieWire. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  36. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (December 17, 2018). "Vice review – Christian Bale hilarious as toad-like VP Dick Cheney". The Guardian. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  37. ^ Travers, Peter (December 17, 2018). "'Vice' Review: Meet The Dubya Era's Dark Lord". www.rollingstone.com. Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 18, 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  38. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (December 17, 2018). "Review: An Exhausting Vice Turns Dick Cheney Into a Cartoon Villain". Time. New York City: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  39. ^ Orlova Alvarez, Tamara (17 January 2019). "Vice Movie Make Up Artistry And Costume Design". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  40. ^ Orlova Alvarez, Tamara (16 January 2019). "Vice Film Review". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  41. ^ Hornaday, Ann (December 18, 2019). "Christian Bale nails it as Dick Cheney in 'Vice', but the rest of the movie is an absurd mess". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  42. ^ Mendelson, Scott (December 17, 2018). "'Vice' Review: Strong Performances Can't Save Useless Dick Cheney Biopic". Forbes. New York City: Forbes Media. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  43. ^ "Golden Globe Nominations: Complete List". Variety. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  44. ^ "All the Winners of the 76th Golden Globes". Golden Globe Awards (Press release). 6 January 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  45. ^ France, Lisa Respers (January 22, 2019). "Oscars 2019: See who's nominated". CNN. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  46. ^ "Critics' Choice Awards winners: Full list of Critics' Choice Award winners". Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 6abc. 13 January 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  47. ^ "'The Favourite' Dominates BAFTA Nominations 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. January 9, 2019. Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2019.

External linksEdit