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
Ben Ginsberg states that Bill Daley's father "stole it for JFK," referring to the belief that Chicago mayor Richard Daley rigged the vote in Illinois in 1960. Kennedy would have still won the electoral college without Illinois. See more »
[after arriving in Florida]
I feel like I'm stuck in "The Night of the Living Bubbies."
Just stay calm. And whatever you do, don't yell "Bingo!"
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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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