The first trailer for Vice, director Adam McKay's biopic about former United States Vice President Dick Cheney, has been released. After making a name for himself helming comedic Will Ferrell vehicles like Anchorman and Step Brothers, McKay made a shift into more serious territory with his 2015 offering, The Big Short. Providing viewers with a thoughtful and entertaining look at the 2008 housing crisis, McKay successful transitioned into an Oscar-caliber filmmaker, taking home Best Adapted Screenplay. The Big Short was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director.
McKay is certainly staying on this newfound track with his next film. Previously referred to as Backseat, Vice reunites McKay with star Christian Bale, who went through another incredible physical transformation to inhabit the role of Cheney. Bale leads an all-star ensemble that also includes 5-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams, last year's Best Supporting Actor winner Sam Rockwell, and Oscar nominee Steve Carell. It's safe to say cinephiles have had this one on their radars since it was first announced.
The recent wave of film festivals in Venice, Telluride, and Toronto provided some clarity to the ever fluid awards race, but Vice was one notable title that bypassed that trio. Some pundits believe Vice could shake things up on the Oscar circuit, and now viewers finally have an opportunity to see what McKay has in store. You can watch the Vice trailer in the space below:
Set to The Killers' bouncy track "The Man," and sporting a colorful title card at the end, the trailer establishes that tonally, Vice will have some similarities to The Big Short - depicting a serious, world-altering event through McKay's humorous lens. As alluded to above, that approach worked very well before, and the early returns on Vice seem promising. Bale, unsurprisingly, completely disappears into the role of Cheney, nailing the politician's mannerisms to an almost eerie effect. The footage also reveals the crux of the narrative, as Cheney plans to use his role as vice president to oversee the more "mundane" aspects of the government, such as military, energy, and foreign policy. Obviously, that would give Cheney a lot of power (something that goes right over George W. Bush's head), placing him in a position to influence the country as he sees fit.
It'll be interesting to see how Vice fares on the awards circuit. Recently held test screenings indicate it delivers on the hype, so nominations in several key categories could be in order. While Vice is rooted in the past (covering Cheney's younger years and his tenure as VP), one of McKay's goals was to show how Cheney's actions relate to America today. That gives the film a sense of relevancy and timely social commentary, which could help its prospects. If this trailer is anything to go by, Vice should be a winner.
Source: Annapurna Pictures
- Vice (2018) release date: Dec 25, 2018