VICE
2018, Annapurna Pictures, 132 min, Dir: Adam McKay

Spanning a half-century, Dick Cheney’s (Christian Bale) complex journey from rural Wyoming electrical worker to de facto president of the United States is a darkly comic and often unsettling inside look at the use and misuse of institutional power. Guided by his formidable and unfailingly loyal wife, Lynne (Amy Adams), and mentored by the brusque and blustery Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell), Cheney insinuated himself into the Washington, D.C., fabric beginning with the Nixon administration. In 2000, he left his position as CEO of Halliburton to run as vice president to George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) with the implicit understanding that he would exercise almost unchecked control. Cheney’s cunning and furtive political maneuvering have altered the American political landscape in ways that will continue to reverberate for decades to come, but it is clear there is more than one Dick Cheney - a man whose reputation in the public sector belies his private life and obvious devotion to his family.


THE FAVOURITE
2018, Fox Searchlight, 119 min, Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos

Early 18th-century England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time-consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfill her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.


THE LION IN WINTER
1968, Rialto Pictures, 134 min, UK/USA, Dir: Anthony Harvey

At Christmas court in 1183, King Henry II (Peter O’Toole) argues with his estranged wife, Eleanor (Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn) over whether Prince John (Nigel Terry) or Richard the Lionheart (Anthony Hopkins in his film debut) shall inherit the throne. Complicating matters is King Philip II of France (Timothy Dalton, also his debut) who seeks his own fortune by demanding his half-sister Alais (Jane Merrow), currently Henry’s mistress, be betrothed to Richard. The most royal of the cycle of '60s films dealing with the history and palace intrigues of medieval England.


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