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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

pop culture + reality TV + politics = WINNER

Author: skysight111 from United States
15 May 2009

This film seems to be inspired by some of our most guilty pleasures ... pop culture, reality TV and political cable shows. Yet, all three of these ingredients come together in a way that's tasty and well worth the price of the ticket.

I predict that this "will" be a true story. A small town changes the election process by electing their mayor through a "contest" for the entertainment of the locals. Brilliant. After all, we're all about being entertained with our pop culture, reality TV and politicians.

In this film, we watch several goofy and untrustworthy politicians prepare for the big contest. Their quirks are exposed with a filming style a la fake documentary. This really emphasizes that what politicians do in front of the camera and what they do behind the scenes are completely different.

The contest is hosted by non other than Jerry Springer. Yes, the former mayor of Cincinnati and reality show king himself. Jerry is entertaining and probably has the best eye roll in Hollywood!

This is a clever and enjoyable film! It's a WINNER !

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A Surprise for 2009

Author: greg-pruitt from Boca Raton
14 May 2009

I saw this film at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. I walked in not knowing what to expect and walked out with a grin.

"And The Winner Is ..." follows several small town politicians as they run for mayor. Each one has political characteristics that we've all seen and have laughed at, such as one being a puppet, a dimwitted bully, a socialite, a lady's man, etc. In order to get elected, they must compete in a contest that resembles a beauty pageant (thankfully without the swimsuit contest).

The camera style is that of reality television. The humor is like "Best In Show" meets "Drop Dead Gorgeous".

If you like political satire or if you are looking for a different kind of comedy than typical Hollywood fare, "Winner" is your ticket!

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

a winner

Author: wtpfest from New York City
13 May 2009

And the winner is …"And The Winner Is …"! It wins high marks with a story that is original, funny, and very entertaining.

The film demonstrates how ridiculous politics has become by comparing it to a even more outlandish world: beauty pageants!! Both "industries" are popularity contests with success based on attractiveness, power, and the ability to regurgitate socially acceptable quotes.

This film is about politicians in a small town who compete to be the next mayor. But, they must compete in a beauty pageant style event to win the approval of the voters. The build up is a lot of fun as we watch small town politicos lie, take brides, and indulge in nightlife. The beauty pageant contest is like of a small town "American's Got Talent" contest. The competition categories are funny and the film climaxes with a satisfying twist ending.

If you like "Waiting For Guffman", you'll love this one! Highly recommended!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Future True Story

Author: statenisland812 from New York, NY
27 June 2009

American politics is becoming a popularity contest. Looks are really important. And politicians are judged more on how well they kiss babies and take pictures than how well they actually lead. True stuff indeed, just ask MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight, TMZ, or even Donald Trump. Or ask the writers of this amazing new comedy.

"And The Winner Is …" follows several small town political candidates as they campaign to win the crown of Mayor. This film is shot as a documentary to depict the realism and hypocrisy of small town politicians without cheap humor.

As anyone who has lived in a small town knows, this film shines a light on all the familiar local politicians … the puppet, the socialite, the guy in it to sleep with women, the bully, the artsy flip flop, etc. In this entertaining film, we watch them gear up to compete in an "America's Got Talent" style event in front of the hometown crowd armed with electronic voting devices. Jerry Springer plays the host and the candidates must participate in categories like "Smile & Wave" and "Talent" in order to get elected. Hilarious!!

This is a really smart comedy. Someday, it will probably become a true story.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

small town Sarah Palin + Donald Trump = entertainment

Author: filmandmedia from Burbank, CA
25 May 2009

Or … 'American Idol' meets 'The Daily Show' inside of a Norman Rockwell painting.

This is an enjoyable political comedy. Through the lens of small town Americana, our nation's system of political elections is satirized as a popularity contest. Small town politicos are followed as they campaign to become mayor. The catch is that they must compete in a beauty pageant in front of an auditorium of hometown voters!

Awesome premise for a film. There are obvious similarities of politics to that of beauty pageants, a silly industry that has tried to maintain a dignified image by promoting the "ideal American woman". But in the aura of Donald Trump ownership, this world is becoming exposed for its shallowness and immaturity.

So we have a film that puts it together with a reality television camera style and an apple pie & Coca Cola vibe. It's too bad they were not able to get Sarah Palin to star in this one, but Jerry Springer does just fine!

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Small Town Pageantry

Author: crystaldayton77 from United States
25 March 2010

"And The Winner Is …" is an intelligent comedy. It offers a realistic view into the silly world of small town politics. It reminds me of "Best In Show" … instead of dogs competing in a show, we have politicians competing in a pageant.

"And The Winner Is …" documents a small town that changes its election method by allowing political candidates to compete for mayor by way of a beauty pageant. In a reality TV show style, cameras roll as politicians lie, cheat, and steal their way to the top. In a fitting finale, they compete in become mayor in front of a hometown audience with Jerry Springer calling the shots.

Are the contestants on The Jerry Springer Show really that different than politicians? I think they are better people; Jerry Springer Show contestants don't try to lie about themselves. They don't cover up their problems. Politicans do.

I work in government for a small city with a population of 36,000 and see every one of these "characters" active in local politics. We have the Ladies' Man, the Mobster, the Puppet, the Simpleton, and the Backstabber … unfortunately they are officials elected to serve, whereas they should be on The Jerry Springer Show.

This film made me laugh from start to finish. It realistically depicts what actually happens in American small town politics with humor and wit.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

original and funny

Author: cmariegs from United States
14 May 2009

I am a big fan of films that poke fun of certain personalities. Especially people who take themselves too seriously. Um, let's see, politicians and beauty pageant contestants do definitely fall into that category.

I'm also a fan of films that actually make a good social points. Here the theme is that political elections have become too much of a popularity contest. A smaller theme centers around the abusive use of eminent domain. This is all pulled off here with a unique story, characters I can relate to, and a charming small town setting ("Centerville").

"And The Winner Is ..." starts off a tad slow, but by 10 minutes in, the film becomes really fun and highly enjoyable. The 'politicians' are quirky and memorable. The actors did an excellent job (especially Don Mitri, Kirk Brown, and Kevin McClatchy).

"And The Winner Is ..." is really a dramedy (a combination of a comedy and a drama). Both genres are employed here with great results. Go out and see this movie!

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4 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

weak low-budget political satire which isn't as clever as it thinks it is

Author: Michael A. Martinez ( from Los Angeles, CA
9 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A small-town mayor garners national attention as he decides to hold a "pageant" instead of an election to choose his successor.

This faux-documentary becomes a victim to the very same trap numerous other low budget features fall to. It has a few laughs, sure, but not nearly enough to necessitate a full 94 minute running time. The ending is plain-as-day obvious right away and few surprises pop up along the way.

The only message the film seems to convey is that politics is shallow and ultimately just a popularity contest (well, duh). So what does the film do? The flawless pretty-boy-nice-all-round-dude hero gets to run for mayor after plenty of plodding exposition where it's never really in any sort of doubt. And guess what? He wins! The film simultaneously tries to make some point about political corruption with an over the top weaselly character nearly stealing the election - but he eventually relinquishes as explained in a rather tacked-on and cheesy last five minutes. Add to that a truly annoying and preachy narration to mallet in what you just saw and you have one bland film.

I'm really not a fan of this all-practical-camera approach for film-making as it just feels much too gimmicky and pulls me right out of any narrative when it isn't done right (like in THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT). Instead, this film fails in a way quite similar to Brian De Palma's recent film REDACTED with the attempts to come off as an authentic documentary falling flat on their face due to bad acting and uncreative cinematography. For instance - why would a "security camera" be just as clear and as well-framed as the 3CCD mini DV shots taken earlier by the professional crew?

I don't mean to come off as a troll as I know how hard it is to make a low-budget feature like this - and to their credit, most of the performances are above par, the lighting / directing is serviceable in many scenes, and some of the animated bits are quite amusing. Unfortunately the movie here is listed as having a half-million dollar budget. What! Honestly, I would have guessed it to be closer to $80,000 as, despite Jerry Springer's cameo as the MC, I don't see where the money went besides props and costumes for the 100-odd extras in the overlong finale. It looked to be shot on a PD-170 and a lot of the scenes were master-shot-only and not even lit. It's too bad - there's laughs to be had and it would have made a nice short but nobody watching this daft and clichéd exercise will leave having learned anything new.

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