Adam McKay Breaks Down a Key Moment from ‘Vice’ in Anatomy of a Scene (VIDEO)

Gallery Icon

brian-mcgee - January 21, 2019


Vice is nothing if not a totally divisive film. Even the people who like it can't seem to reach a consensus on why they like it. The film's writer and director Adam McKay recently recorded an "Anatomy of a Scene" video for The New York Times magazine in which he breaks down one of the film's many, many scenes.

He chose the one that comes a little less than halfway through the film—following a fake-out ending complete with rolling credits—when a telephone call changes the course of history. McKay walks us through all the elements that come together in the scene to make it a turning point not just for the film, but for the history of the United States.

If Vice has any major problem that keeps it from being a great film, it's a total lack of subtlety. While it doesn't come off as a feature length SNL sketch the way Oliver Stone's W. did, it has a bit too much smugness to be truly great. McKay has a point of view, and I'm always happy to see a director with one rather than a rudderless empty vessel of a director, but too often that smugness worked to the film's detriment.

Vice's biggest problem, however, is every film's biggest problem... Not enough Sam Rockwell. Now that I think of it, Moon is probably the only movie that doesn't have that problem. Vice is in theaters everywhere now.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved for writing and editorial content. No rights or credit claimed for any images featured on unless stated. If you own rights to any of the images because YOU ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHER and do not wish them to appear here, please contact us info(@) and they will be promptly removed. If you are a representative of the photographer, provide signed documentation in your query that you are acting on that individual's legal copyright holder status.