Movie Review: Recount


The movie, Recount, featuring Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban and Ed Begley Jr, is a HBO Films Presentation of the story of the 2000 Presidential Election. The tag line of the movie, “The future of the nation was hanging by…a chad.”
Although it does not state that this movie was based on a true story, most of us know that it was, at least partially. The events that took place in Florida regarding a “court mandated recount of votes” was the determining factor in who would be elected as the President of the United States in 2000. Whether it was watched on TV from another state or individuals living in Florida at the time were marching and/or protesting, it was a phenomena that interested, if not concerned Americans, at best.
The movie, “Recount”, displays the range of emotions from Al Gore conceding to George Bush assuming Mr. Bush had won to resending his decision to concede, to the appeals to the Supreme Court, to have votes recounted as a result of defective or illegible chads (the paper ballots that registered voters punch into a machine to cast their vote). The movie effectively expresses the feelings, motives and missions of both the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party and those working closely with Al Gore and George Bush.
Certain events may lead viewers to question whether they were for the sake of entertainment or based on actual facts. The conspiracy theories were not without reason. In the movie, Kevin Spacey plays Ron Klain, Al Gore’s former Chief of Staff. Mr. Klain makes it his mission to have votes recounted, despite the “red tape”, he and the campaigners encountered. Bob Balaban plays the role of Ben Ginsberg, Republican “veteran” who later reveals his very close friendship with former President Bush Sr. Although all of the characters were clearly defined, they did a great job acting very distinctive roles in this “almost fictional drama”.
None of us will ever know who the real President was but history teaches us which President was chosen. After 36 days of gruesome death threats to campaign members, parties disputing chad readings to delay deadlines and a Secretary of State who seemed way more interested in her appearance than democracy prevailing, we know the outcome.
This movie gives a different perspective, highlighting “moments” and details that would otherwise go without pondering. It is definitely a movie that is recommended to be viewed if you are intrigued or disgusted by politics, for those who want to get a deeper understanding of how our former President “may” have won the 2000 election or if you simply enjoy a good movie with an exceptional plot.


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