In this dramatization of the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore concedes the presidency to George W. Bush, but recants when he learns of irregularities in the Florida vote count. Democratic strategists Ronald Klain and Michael Whouley race to Florida to uncover the truth, as do Republicans under James Baker III. Between faulty voting equipment and the vagaries of Florida's Secretary of State Katherine Harris, a 36-day stalemate ensues. Written by
Danny Strong made it his goal to interview the real-life counterpart of at least one character appearing in each scene. In most cases, he actually ended up interviewing every character. He achieved his goal in all but one case: because Katherine Harris declined any interviews, the scene where she stands alone looking out over the crowd of protesters outside her office was entirely imagined. See more »
The wall at the Division of Elections is shown in grey. It is in fact blue. See more »
Listen, Katherine. Most people go through their lives never having a chance to make a difference. And those that are lucky enough to have that chance don't recognize it when it comes. They think it's down the road, or that it's going to be next year or the year after that. But if you're a publical official wanting to make history then today is your lucky day, darling. You're about to pick the leader of the free world.
Don't you worry, Mac. It's going to take a lot more than David Letterman ...
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totally fair? maybe not, but neither is American democracy
Recount goes over familiar territory, and for some it will be like opening up a wound that's been covered for several years only to find the pus is still fresh and rotten. Whether you're a democrat or republican- for the latter, of course, your man "won" in the end- a lot of the details in the story of the Florida electoral results in the 2000 Presidential election just flat out stink of corruption and mismanagement. It displays a failure on the part of what should be a somewhat reliable process in an already faulty system (i.e. electoral college, besides the point). What lessons can be taken from the Florida story? Pretty much the story, and the film, acts as a referendum on how things can get so (bleeped), on each party side- democrats not strong enough in the fight at crucial beats, republicans acting like bullies- and the only hope is that it never gets this wretched again.
Whatever thoughts on the issues one will have, it's a worthwhile TV movie based just on the cast alone. Director Jay Roach, usually responsible for silly comedies like Austin Powers and Meet the Parents, tackles the drama with a firm hand (if not the sturdiest camera- hand held of course) on his large group of thespians. Kevin Spacey hasn't been this good in years, and Leary is a welcome presence as a Gore campaign member. Also very noteworthy are small parts for John Hurt, Ed Begley Jr, Bruce McGill. But best of all are Laura Dern in a harrowingly funny turn as dumb-bell Katherine Harris and Tom Wilkinson as tough lawyer James Baker, who comes off as icy as one might expect playing a loyal cadre of the Bush family. They make the movie compulsively watchable, even as the details of the case- the dimple chads, the discrimination, the BS protester problem in Miami-Dade, and ultimately the ruling of the supreme court- make one very sick about the madness unraveling.
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