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 thirty-six-day stalemate ensues.Written by
Great acting, and some historic events re-told with candor...but is that enough??
A fairly gripping political drama, well acted, and of course with historic filling. I realized just as the credits ran, however, that what had me going throughout was the events, the history, the reliving of a time that seemed to intense an unjust (or at least dubiously just). It wasn't the movie that drove the event, but the other way around.
And so it is with this kind of re-enactment of a big event.
However, there is a sudden letdown after all. I mean, after all, what else is there? Knowing what happened and visualizing it anew isn't quite great cinema.
Even though this is a great telling of those facts. Which is how you come to appreciate and judge it by the end. And it's not enough.
I watched it with someone who didn't live in the U.S. at the time, and had little information about the contested Gore v. Bush election battles. And without me explaining certain events it hovered as an abstract comment on the insider problems of election process. That sounds pretty dull, doesn't it? (She was asleep by the end, and I was not, which says something, but not everything.) Because in fact the contents are pretty dull stuff.
Which makes the movie more remarkable, I suppose—it makes exciting what is a legal maneuvering, office room discussion, telephone call kind of movie. The fact it ever happened is no surprising, given the other options in other countries. But the details are astounding, and those details—from the people cheering when the votes won't get counted to the concession, finally, by the loser—are all telling. About the system, about human nature.
And about rising above to find our better natures. Some of us, some of the time.
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