Much America! So American! *tba movie squad review N°2: Vice
Welcome, fair reader. You made the right decision by clicking on this review: your first good deed of the day. Bravo. Your act of kindness shall be rewarded with our second piece on cinematic cognizance: opinions on Vice starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney. If you only know the trailer: beware, for the movie deals with politics of which you might not be a fan. However, we assume that you are a true connoisseur of le cinéma and perhaps already know that the following piece was created by brilliant minds that could make even Twilight look enjoyable.
Time for you to grab another cup of coffee and sit down for a high-quality read.
Summarize Vice in one sentence.
LocalGranny: “You know when you read a lot of Chomsky late at night and then you end up having a sort of feverish and deeply disturbing dream, in which weird shit from your subconscious and political commentary intermingle to form a very confusing nightmare-hybrid (with a slight comedic tinge due to its absurdity)? Maybe not, but that’s pretty much the movie in one (overly long and convoluted) sentence.”
On a scale from 0 to 10, how badly did you crave chicken wings after watching Vice?
m.a99: “A solid 6. I was fine without chicken wings, but I would’ve eaten them happily if offered.”
If Vice was a family member, which one would it be, and would you invite them to your wedding?
LocalGranny: “Vice would be that one ‘woke’ family member who says that they’re not going to ruin the family function by talking about politics, but after a few drinks they do it anyway. Slightly inebriated, they then proceed to drop one hot take after another, some more accurate than others, and they’re not willing to stop before everyone feels at least mildly uncomfortable, multiple fights have broken out, and aunt Brenda has started crying. Only once they’ve achieved complete chaos (which hasn’t actually led to any productive conversations regarding politics), are they satisfied. I would definitely invite them, it’s not as though I’m going to ban myself from my own wedding.”
Name the perfect occasion (apart from going to the cinema with our *tba movie squad) to watch the movie.
LitCrit1701: “Don’t watch it with your grandparents, they won’t get it. I think it could be a movie-eve-appropriate choice, but I can also imagine watching it by myself, not necessarily crying. Except maybe because I’m pitying Amy Adams for the horrible hair and voice she had to do. Even tho I was told (or maybe I just like to think so) that I can do a pretty good impression of that voice.”
Women. Are they even in the movie and if so, how are they portrayed?
LitCrit1701: “Yes, they are. I think in terms of the political landscape what you gotta keep in mind here is that the movie is set in the ‘60s and onwards. Women back then were still fighting much stronger prejudices and limitations to their choices in life. Lynne, Dick Chenney’s wife, says herself that she needs him because for ‘girls’ it just doesn’t work like that. They can’t simply run for office, etc. but I think the movie highlights her importance for Chenney’s entire political career, and does not portray her as just another trophy wife and moral backbone but as an active and instrumental component of his success. His daughters are interesting elements in this regard: the younger daughter is homosexual (Dick says it doesn’t change a thing for him), the older daughter is also entering politics and quite successful in doing so. But since the Chenneys are Republicans, they have to deny their support for/of issues such as gay marriage and betray their daughter’s/sister’s trust. Which once again goes to show that both Dick and his daughter, men and women, can be ruthless in the political minefield and would choose their personal success over family, regardless of their sex.”
If the movie was a product, which one would it be, where could you buy it and what would you use it for?
m.a99 : “It would smell like this one specific aftershave used by most old white men and would be a small thing which could be used for multiple purposes. Like a Swiss army knife or something like that. You would not be able to find it in any shop. It’s rather like a family heirloom, handed down from generation to generation.”
Imagine this scenario: driven by forces of nature you take a trip to the loo. Would you shout “No, don’t pause it [Vice]!” to your friends on your way out?
LitCrit1701: “I would definitely shout ‘Pause!’. If this is your first time watching Vice, I’d advise you very heartily to keep watching.”
One might have figured that we do recommend Vice, not only because we have excellent taste in movies, but also because it deserves the Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling and is a fine piece of cinematic excellence. Just for you, we added a link for Vice screenings at the Savoy, our second home, where we bathe in happiness and caramel popcorn. (Editor’s note: In case you do not yet know the Savoy: it is the only cinema where sitting is an exquisite pleasure and where movies are usually shown without subtitles.)
Yours sincerely and emphatically,
the *tba moviesquad