The Dick Cheney biopic Vice has attracted awards attention, polarized reviews and criticism from the Cheney family — and, over the holiday, it got perhaps its two most powerful viewers yet in Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner.
The couple, both 37-year-old senior aides to President Donald Trump, headed south in December where they spent some time at the Trump family’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, sources say.
A witness tells PEOPLE that during one outing around Christmas, Ivanka and Kushner went to a West Palm Beach theater for a showing of Adam McKay’s acidic retelling of the life and rise of Cheney, a former vice president and tremendously consequential figure in the political party that Ivanka’s father now leads.
Partway through the showing, she and Kushner and their Secret Service detail got up and left, the witness says.
It remains unclear what prompted the exit, though the witness describes it as abrupt. A source told Vanity Fair the couple left near the film’s end.
Multiple members of the Trump family spent the holiday at Mar-a-Lago amid an ongoing shutdown of the federal government that has left about 800,000 employees without pay. (Only Ivanka and Kushner are on the U.S. payroll, both as advisers to the president. Trump sons Eric and Donald Jr. continue to run the family business.)
First Lady Melania Trump spent Christmas with the president in Washington, D.C., but then returned to Mar-a-Lago for New Year’s Eve with her parents and son Barron. “She didn’t look happy or comfortable,” says a source who saw her that day.
A club member tells PEOPLE that Ivanka and Kushner spent only a few days at Mar-a-Lago.
“She is not overly social and he is very quiet, often stone-faced,” the source says. “I’m sure they don’t see anything wrong with coming here despite the government shutdown. It is one of their homes.”
It appears both Ivanka and Kushner are still at work as essential government employees during the funding freeze: According to CNN, Kushner was on Capitol Hill Wednesday assisting in ongoing negotiations between the president and Congress to resolve the shutdown. Ivanka joined the president for a bill signing.
Since its Christmas Day release, Vice earned plaudits from the Golden Globes, where Christian Bale won for his portrayal of Cheney. In his acceptance speech, Bale thanked “Satan for giving me inspiration” for his performance.
In response, Cheney’s daughter, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted out a decade-old article about Bale being detained for an alleged altercation with his mom and sister before the London premiere of The Dark Knight in 2008. The actor was never charged and vehemently denied the accusation, which was later dismissed by police due to “insufficient evidence.”
“Satan probably inspired him to do this, too,” Liz wrote in her tweet.