By now the whole world has heard one of the more unusual “thank you” speeches delivered by an award-winning actor.
Last night, for his depiction of former Vice President Dick Cheney in the movie “Vice,” Christian Bale received the Golden Globe award for best actor in a comedy or musical.
In his acceptance speech he thanked "Satan" for giving him inspiration for how to play the role. And for good measure, Bale added that the role set him up to corner the market on depicting “charisma-free a** holes” who are “reviled by everybody.” For his next role he suggested playing Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
First I must say, I was intrigued that someone won an award for playing my former boss in a comedy or musical. Having spent some time around him I can safely disclose that Dick Cheney does in fact have a sense of humor. It’s pretty sharp, and he is not averse to self-deprecation.
Second, I must confess that I am impressed by the physical transformation that truly gifted actors undergo in order to take on another persona – especially one of an iconic figure. On that score, Bale did a remarkable job.
But that is where the good news ends for the actor and his Golden Globe comedy routine.
Tsk, tsk. What’s a guy named Christian doing consulting with Satan? That just doesn’t seem right. And come on, if you are going to roast an immensely intelligent and experienced person with whom you disagree, shouldn’t the bar be a bit higher than just calling him a “charisma-free a** hole”? Perhaps Christian should consider better sources for inspiration.
Then again, this is what we have come to expect from our entertainment elite. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that Robert De Niro graced the 2018 Tony Awards with the deep philosophical words “F**k Trump!”
These elites live in a warped and entitled bubble, where “their truth” is to be imposed as “the truth” on all of us dim and dirty deplorables. As they gather for these celebrations of their collective narcissism, perhaps they forget that beyond the room full of their kind of people (who think Satan is funny and Republicans are evil) lies a large, fruited plain of people who think, believe and live differently.
If we deplorables wise up and stop paying to be insulted by them, their glorious bubble will get a lot smaller.
Really though, the most disappointing thing about Bale’s acceptance speech was that he simply went for base humor and coarse language, sure to align with the culture and ideology of his peers, and just left it at that.
While there is a healthy dose of revisionist liberal bunk in the movie (especially for those of us who lived a part or two of the story), Bale must have discovered things about Cheney that even he could admire – a man who married a talented, strong and accomplished woman who essentially saved and shaped his life; an unmatched career at the highest levels of leadership from the White House to Congress to the Pentagon to the private sector and back to the White House; a front row seat to many of the most consequential challenges facing our nation and the world.
While it may be too much to ask for Hollywood to give credit where credit is due – and perhaps doing so would have been less entertaining for some – surely Bale could have shared a morsel or two about what surprised him in taking on this role, given the consequential life he was depicting (and then mocking). That would have at least added a little value to his speech, and maybe even convinced a few outside of that bubble to tolerate watching his movie.