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Adam McKay weighs in on 'Vice's' Golden Globe nominations and how the film reflects on power and the world we live in

Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

"Vice" led the Golden Globes nominations on Thursday morning, being recognized in six categories. Adam McKay was honored as the director, writer and producer of the movie, which also received a nomination in the category of best motion picture, musical or comedy. That category might not seem so surprising a place for the filmmaker behind "Step Brothers," except that "Vice" is a clear-eyed yet scathing portrait of former Vice President Dick Cheney -- played by Christian Bale in a transformative performance that spans decades.

Q: Where are you right now; where did you get the news?

A: We are in London; we're over here for a couple of days doing some screenings and a little bit of press. So we had the luxury of watching it while eating lunch in a very civilized way. Obviously couldn't have been more thrilled with the results.

Q: In particular, "Vice" led the nominations with more than any other movie, with nominations for Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, and you were recognized for both directing and writing. That must be very exciting.

A: Really exciting. It was obviously an ambitious, challenging movie -- it covers, five, six decades of history. And I felt great for the actors. These actors just went the whole nine yards 1/8with3/8 such passionate, detailed performances, and I loved seeing so many of them acknowledged.

Q: Now the Globes being the Globes, just having the movie classified as a comedy, how do you feel about that?

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A: We struggled with it. I actually did not have a clean answer, and I sort of told the Hollywood Foreign Press, you help me decide. I really think the movie in some ways mirrors the times that we live in, and half the time I can't decide if we're living in an absurdist comedy or a Greek tragedy. And that's kind of the way the movie is; there are parts that are very tragic and dark and there are parts that are very absurd. So it's not crazy for it to be comedy, but it also wouldn't have been crazy for it to be in drama.

Q: As people are starting to respond to the movie, about the rise of Dick Cheney, they're asking what the film has to say to our current moment. For you, what do you think this story has to say to right now?

A: I think foremost, and this is all credit to Christian Bale's and Amy Adams' performances, it's a portrait of power and a specific breed of power, American power. And I think in seeing that, through these incredible performances, what you start to get a sense of is this scope of American history and how things changed. And it actually was pretty freaky while we were making the movie, so many elements of it kept lining up with things that were popping up in the daily news, certain words and themes and ideas of the type of power that carried Dick Cheney. It's constantly in the news. I knew the movie was going to resonate with what was going on in the world today; I had no idea it was going to resonate as much as it does.

Q: Your conception of the Cheneys, in particular the relationship between Dick and Lynne, how did you come to that?

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