That’s the outrageous implication in Adam McKay’s new film, Vice.
Edit: this article has been updated to reflect paragraphs in Lynn Cheney’s autobiography.
I watched Adam McKay’s unusual biopic of Vice President Dick Cheney a few days ago, and one scene in particular stood out. For all its focus on Cheney’s political machinations, Vice briefly touches on a personal tragedy for Cheney’s wife, Lynne, whose mother drowned at the age of 54. It is the second time Lynne’s parents are mentioned, the other being a brief interaction in the opening scene in which Lynne’s mother is portrayed as a doting and abused housewife.
Early in the film, Lynne Cheney (competently played by Amy Adams) receives a phone call with terrible news. Her mother, Edna, has drowned. Lynne openly wonders why she would be in the lake, knowing she can’t swim. Lynne, her husband Dick (Christian Bale), then Assistant Director of the Cost of Living Council for President Richard Nixon, and their two young daughters fly home to Wyoming to attend the funeral.
At the cemetery, Lynne’s father, Wayne Edwin Vincent (played by Shea Whigham), acts suspiciously and tries to ingratiate himself with his daughter. Dick Cheney interposes and warns him to never try to make contact with them again. It’s almost explicitly stated that Edna’s death wasn’t an accident, and the film wonders why it was never investigated. Then it just moves on as though this isn’t a least bit controversial depiction of events. “Is there more evidence for this than is presented in the movie, which is none?” National Review‘s Kyle Smith asks.
Subscribe to get access
Read the rest of this article when you subscribe today.