Monday, June 02, 2008

If you have HBO, Recount is definitely worth watching. The film is about the chaotic aftermath of the 2000 presidential election, aka, the era of the chad. This is a well-crafted political thriller--twists and turns abound, even if we already know the ending. The film strikes the right balance of pointing out the absurdities of that election in a serious way and also incorporating many humorous elements. The writers and actors have some fun impersonating the individuals involved, especially Laura Dern with an over-the-top Katherine Harris, yet the film doesn't devolve into caricature. Kevin Spacey excellently captures the mix of cynicism and idealism of Ron Klain, leader of Al Gore's post-election fight. Gore and George W. Bush are portrayed only in passing and in voice impersonations; they aren't central characters, which I think was a wise decision. I was surprised at how many times I was left in suspense as I was watching this, my memory of 2000 getting a little spotty, which just goes to show why films like these are necessary. Recount is a well-executed and relevant analysis that never gets boring.

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