Last Friday, it was quietly announced that Adam McKay’s film about Dick Cheney, starring Christian Bale, would be released on Christmas Day. Before then, the film didn’t even have a title. Now we know it’s Vice and we also know that, given the timing of the opening (Christmas Day almost always means an Oscar run), we have another contender. Remember, Adam’s The Big Short was nominated for five Oscars, with a win for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

The first trailer for Vice dropped yesterday. It’s basically Christian Bale saying to Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling that he’s in the ring. That he’s not letting them run away with it. He’s seeing Coop’s two dropped octaves and live singing and raising with 40 pounds of extra weight, a shaved head, and his Batman voice, only this time applied to one of the most controversial political operatives in United States history, set to The Killers’ song The Man. As you know, Oscar loves a physical transformation.

Suddenly it’s not a two-person race. Christian Bale is throwing down. And you know, he too has his own supporters within the Academy. He’s already won an Oscar – Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter. Now he wants the big prize. And he’ll have Amy Adams (as Lynne Cheney) and the reigning Best Supporting Actor, Sam Rockwell, in his corner, in addition to Adam McKay’s circle, which would include Will Ferrell and the Saturday Night Live family. 

Also, don’t sleep on Viggo Mortensen. If there’s an actor in the Best Actor conversation who is “due”, and there’s a “due” candidate every year, it might be him. Green Book opens in November. It was well-received at TIFF (read Joanna’s review here), although it could be the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri of 2018. Which could make Viggo the Frances McDormand of 2018? 

The point is, again, right now it’s looking like everyone has a shot at it. Bradley Cooper’s the one trying the hardest though. Is anyone else going to meet his thirst? Will Christian Bale?