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Vice - Film Review

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by May Cross (subscribe)
I'm a writer, artist and keen photographer.
Published December 23rd 2018
Some vices are more dangerous than others
vice, film, cheney

Vice is a true story. Or as close as the makers could get to someone as secretive as Dick Cheney. Who was it said, "Beware the quiet man"? Many people didn't know who he was or where he came from. He was like a ghost, but he changed the course of history for millions of people. Cheney can't be called "Tricky Dickie" because that soubriquet was already taken by President Richard Nixon, another immoral politician, under whom Cheney worked as a humble civil servant.

vice, film, dick Cheney
Christian Bale as the aging Cheney

Cheney (an unrecognisable Christian Bale) was a so-so student and a mediocre athlete who had a scholarship to Yale but was thrown out of university. He was a drinker and a brawler and went to gaol twice for DUI. He has been described as a "ne'er do well" but basically, he was just a dirtbag. So how did he go on to be so powerful in American politics? Mainly because his wife, Lynne (Amy Adams who is always terrific), pushed him. She realised that as a woman, she couldn't go to an Ivy League university, nor be a CEO or mayor. So, like Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton, she was the brains and force behind her husband.

vice, film, dick cheney, nixon
Adorable Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney

Cheney began his political career with an internship or "shit-detail" (which is a military term) and worked for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as Chief of Staff. Steve Carrell plays Rummy with aplomb and frightening accuracy. "There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns the ones we don't know we don't know." This is a quote Donald Rumsfeld gave to a question at a Department of Defense news briefing about the lack of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups.

vice, film, dick cheney, nixon, rumsfeld
Steve Carell stars as Rummy

George W 'Dubya' Bush (a superb performance by Sam Rockwell) was both comical and dumb but mainly "misunderestimated", and is considered the most inept US President ever. Being the Vice President is considered just another job where the incumbent sits around and waits for the President to die. When Bush Junior inexplicably wins the 2000 election, it is Cheney who quietly takes charge, wielding his newfound power as VP to reshape the country and the world with lasting consequences. The aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre was a time of confusion, fear and uncertainty. In all the confusion, Cheney saw an opportunity. Cheney's superpower was that he could make wild ideas sound sensible, Who would have thought that the explanation of Unitary Executive Theory could be so fascinating and understandable? Simply, it's that if the President does anything, then it must be legal. WHAT?

vice, film, dick cheney, nixon, bush
Sam Rockwell as George 'Dubya' Bush

If you want to find out more about life in 'Dubya' Bush's America, I can recommend the book "Bushwhacked" by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose. It is a controversial best-seller which is frankly funny, and eminently readable.

vice, film, dick cheney, bush
President Bush and VP Cheney

Oscar winner Adam McKay is the director of this brilliant comedy-drama. You will find Vice shocking, even scary at times but very entertaining. I can't wait until they make a similar movie about Donald Trump (another super-rich white businessman turned right-wing politician) - but it will probably be much longer and more shocking.

Details at a Glance
Release Date
: 26 December 2018
Director: Adam McKay (The Big Short)
Starring: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Amy Adams (American Hustle), Steve Carrell (Foxcatcher) and Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).

vice, film, dick cheney, nixon
Christian Bale as Dick Cheney
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*May Cross was invited as a guest
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Why? To be shocked and entertained
When: from 26 December 2018
Where: cinemas across Australia
Cost: variable
Your Comment
May, love true stories and factual events. Good preview.
Thanks for your friendship this year. Happy festive season.
by Susan J Bowes (score: 3|2182) 953 days ago
Sounds like a great film ... I'll add it to my must-watch list :-)
by Damsel Martin (score: 2|315) 953 days ago
by Helen Belli on 23/01/2019
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