• It’s flawed, and didactic (something I use as description more than a criticism) but it’s definitely of the same unique and ambitious style of the big short — a film I greatly admire. Vice is in the archives for me.   
  • McKay has gone from the funny, well-written but heavily improvisational comedies (Step brothers, Anchorman) to a director who’s art is crafted through editing and montage with this and his breakthrough, The Big Short
  • Like The Big Short this has great celebrity cameos (Naomi Watts as an anchorwoman for a second- forgettable frankly—Alfred Molina’s waiter scene lands much nicer), breaking the fourth wall talking to the camera, a voice over (here from a dead guy- Jesse Plemons), heavy freeze frame,  symbolism, stream of consciousness editing
  • Didactic like Oliver Stone (clearly a huge influence with editing here in his 1990’s period of JFK, Natural Born, U-Turn), Spike Lee (doc footage grounding the narrative fiction), Lars Von Trier venom (here the “America” song over the credits from West Side Story is very similar to David Bowie’s “Young Americas” montage over the credits in Dogville)—this is clearly form Bunuel as well to go farther back- or even like Contempt from Godard
  • Hank Corwin is the editor- nom for McKay’s the big short but should have been nominated for past montage work tree of life with Malick and Stone’s Nixon
  • Wonderful heavy use of freeze-frame editing
  • The fishing scene with George W is tremendous and one of the few gags that clearly resonates as art, humor and political critique
  • The acting here is very strong- Bale in particular is utterly fantastic in another transformational chameleon-like role—and McKay believes in no small roles here clearly- not just the Watts/Molina cameos but Allison Pill as the daughter, Eddie Marson
  • The writing fails McKay (and the actors a little) at times but even though the film doesn’t hit fully like The Big Short– it’s artistic and auteur-vision is ambitious- there’s the Shakespeare scene, the fake credit sequence after the iron man joke and award winning golden retrievers- very good work
  • Recommend