Golden Globes 2019: it’s Dick Cheney v Lady Gaga in a surreal title fight | Peter Bradshaw

Vice is a surprise frontrunner – perhaps due to liberal nostalgia for when Republicans were intelligible – while A Star Is Born squares up to it, a little over-solemnly, in the best drama category

While the critical consensus has been building around A Star Is Born, Roma and The Favourite, the Golden Globes nomination list has launched a surprise new frontrunner. Leading the field with six nods, including actor and director, is Adam McKay’s enjoyable, if flashily self-aware political comedy Vice, with its glowering portrayal of former vice-president, big oil nabob and war-on-terror enthusiast Dick Cheney, who the film shows effectively leading America throughout the presidency of George W Bush.

Christian Bale has put on considerable amounts of weight and latex for the role and the result is undoubtedly entertaining, although I wonder if the surge of enthusiasm for this movie represents a guilty rush of liberal nostalgia for the good old days when the Republican bad guys, however horrible, were smart and rational people who had the good taste to keep a relatively low profile, and you kind of knew where you stood with them. The movie actually finishes with a post-credits sting which makes the director’s attitude to the new Trumpian zeitgeist and its standard of political debate pretty clear. Amy Adams is also up for best supporting actress for her performance as Cheney’s formidable wife Lynne, and Sam Rockwell for his amiable, undemanding and more subtly latexed turn as Dubya himself.

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