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"Vice" Review – Christian Bale got Chubby just to win an Oscar

Prosthodontics could work for an average screen lion – like Gary Oldman, who won the Oscar for best actor this year for putting on a thick suit in Darkest Hour – but not Christian Bale. To play Dick Cheney, the political orchestrator who plots behind George W. Bush in Vice (19459004) by Adam McKay (19459004) (outside Christmas), Bale stomped on 40 pounds of pudge. In a few stray, shirtless shots scattered throughout the movie, we watch the man hug his stomach. Gone are the toned muscles that Bale built at Dark Knight in the Batman films of Christopher Nolan, which were replaced by a trembling tea hog. It is the body of a superhero who has gone to seed.

But that's just Bale, who is Bale. In almost 20 years he has made a name for himself, in part thanks to his willingness to adapt his body like fleshy clay to the needs of his characters: [1

94559002] American Psycho 2000: Bale worked six days a week, several hours a day, with a personal trainer to play Patrick Bateman, who was suitable for both the character's everyday life as a narcissistic investment banker and as a sideline to being a maniac.

The Machinist 2004: Bale faded to play the incredibly thin insomniac Trevor Reznik. [194559002] Batman Begins 2005: Filming on the first Bat-Nolan's film took place half a year after . The machinist was over, so Bale brought back Mainline Food's body mass and then turned it into a Caped Crusader muscle through intense weightlifting. [194559002] Rescue Dawn 2006: Werner Herzog shot the narrative Active Version of his documentary from 1997 The little Dieter has to fly vice versa: his actors accepted Weight and resumed it during the entire production, which means that Bale yo-yo at the beginning fell back on the skin bone once again .

The Dark Knight 2008: More Batman, more muscle.

The Fighter ] 2010: After Bale had taken so many unnecessary health risks to the arts, Bale finally won recognition for self-destruction with an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter . Here he played Dicky Eklund, the drug-dependent half-brother of boxer Mickey Ward. Obviously, Bale fell thanks to his work on The Machinist .

The Dark Knight Rises 2012 Night.

American Hustle 2013: Excessive weight gain sounds way better than excessive weight loss. American Hustle became Bale mainly nourished by Cheeseburger.

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Vice follows in the footsteps of American Hustle in terms of weight gain from Bale, but he has lost it so far: he is the tuxedo season presented on camera, but he must look slim on red carpets, probably he will win the Oscar. Vice is after all a movie that built for the Oscar dominance, a flashy biography of a notorious figure in recent political history, and it demands that his leading man turn from pretty to juicy. This is a price slam dunk. Ultimately, Vice is not a movie anymore than a movie asking for recognition.

Vice begins in Wyoming on Cheney's dark days in 1963, drinking too much, fighting in bars, and fighting early in the morning, all to the chagrin of his longtime wife Lynne (Amy Adams). The shame of Cheney's alcoholism is one thing, but most of all, Lynne worries about his lack of drive. McKay's intent here is mixed up. Either Lynne wants Dick to be the man she thought she married, or she is Lady Macbeth, and she wants him to have political weight so that she can enjoy near power. Vice expects the audience to believe that Cheney saved the United States over a barrel to save his marriage as if it were a peace offer to encourage our empathy.

The film is a true story, the opening title card statements – "as true as it can be, Dick Cheney is known as one of the most mysterious leaders in history." Vice however, cares more about his crimes and misdemeanors in public than about his secrets. The Cheney of the film has good intentions that turn into naked lust for control. Each of his movements serves to secure forces that are normally inadequate for the position he normally occupies, whether George H.W. Bush's Secretary of Defense or, most of all, Dubya's Vice President.

When Vice and McKay admitted in 1945, Cheney stood aside and carefully distracted the political control. The film tells us that there is not much that can not be found in Google searches or Wikipedia. These are political CliffsNotes delivered with a smug congratulation. McKay flips the film off with embarrassing sections of the fourth wall, from Naomi Watts' recurring appearance as Fox News anchor, who directed the Vice conspiracy to Bale's lank closing address as Cheney to the camera. McKay "exposes" what the world has known about Cheney for ages, with the intense self-perception of Jean-Luc Godard or Michael Haneke and none of their artistry. (This is consistent with The Big Short McKay's 2015 financial crisis drama, although this was comparatively restrained.)

If anything, Vice feels like a ship for Bale & # 39; s stunt performance. However, work like this never feels like a performance and instead reads itself as performative. It is imitation. Good imitation, in fairness. Bale imitates Cheney's behavior – his cocked head, the side smile, the pebbles, the language scratching – perfect. The trick works. We think we see Cheney, not the tuna, born in Wales. But there is no character in Bale's work, just a collection of tics that contribute to what many viewers think are great acts.

The winter movie season inevitably brings with it a barrage of horrible, expense-based films that turn subtext into text and bang the audience's throat. Vice is no exception. It is only more pronounced, assertive and persistent in its own value. Satire does not have to be so blatant. Armando Iannucci's Death Stalin's death made of ancient history a relevant political parable, without trying to connect points so explicitly. But McKay can not help playing the obvious punch line, just as Bale can not resist an opportunity to change forms. The combined effect is bludgeoning. Who is Dick Cheney really ? Maybe that's not a question worth asking. Maybe we do not like the answer. Either way, we do not get one.

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