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Recount

Where to Watch Recount

TVMA
2008

Recount is a 2008 American political drama film that brings to life the anxieties and controversies behind one of the most all-embracing political crises in U.S. history: the 2000 Presidential Election. The film is a compelling portrayal of the ensuing chaos that gripped the nation as the fate of presidency was precariously wavered between two candidates, George W. Bush and Al Gore, for an agonizing period of uncertainty.

At the heart of this political thrill ride is an impressive ensemble led by Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey who brilliantly embodied the character of Ron Klain, Al Gore's former chief of staff. Spacey’s Ron Klain is a rolling snowball of dogged determination amidst the maelstrom of political mayhem. The shell-shocked turmoil and the nerve-fraying tension are perfectly portrayed through Klain's experiences, giving audiences a penetrating look at the high-stakes, high-pressure reality of American politics.

Bob Balaban adds another layer of finesse to the movie with his portrayal of Ben Ginsberg, a key member of George W. Bush’s legal team, an intriguing counterfoil to Spacey’s Klain. Ginsberg is portrayed as a man enmeshed in the convolutions of the law and political strategy, often times adding a lighter, dryly humorous tone to the proceedings, a testament to Balaban's versatile acting prowess.

Equally captivating is Denis Leary, playing the aggressive, sardonic campaign strategist Michael Whouley. His performance, punctuated by his pinpoint comedic timing, offers an interesting dynamic to the film's character spectrum, providing key moments of levity in an otherwise serious narrative.

Recount is effectively a political thriller, examining the intricate tapestry of a constitutional crisis and the backroom struggles that underpinned what was arguably one of the most controversial episodes in modern American political history. Director Jay Roach masterfully presents the confusion and the politically-charged atmosphere that pervaded the situation, from the initial flawed vote counts in Florida to the controversial Supreme Court decision, all woven together with ease and a taut precision.

The screenplay by Danny Strong punctuates the narrative with insightful dialogue that captures the frantic, high-wire act of a nation grappling with procedure and political maneuvering. The film is paced beautifully, with the tension mounting scene by scene to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, despite the familiarity of the event.

The setting is expertly captured, with the film’s production design and cinematography effectively recreating the limbo-like state of America during this time. From the shadowy corridors of power to the bustling media centers, the film's aesthetics stay true to the real-world mise-en-scene. Paired with a rousing score that accentuates the drama, Recount is a cinematic spectacle that screams reality.

The film is propped by its exceptional supporting cast, including Tom Wilkinson as James Baker and Laura Dern as Katherine Harris, who give their characters depth, grounding the turmoil in palpable human emotion and the moral ambiguities intrinsic in such a defining period. Their performances offer a wonderful balance of realism and dramatic flare.

Recount is not just a political drama but a focused study on democracy teetering on the edge of uncertainty, highlighting the crucial role of every individual vote and the integrity of the electoral process. It's an expose of political motivation, personal ambition and most of all, the lengths to which both sides would go to secure the presidency.

It’s a finely tuned representation of a moment in history that had worldwide implications, which makes it a must-watch not just for political junkies but for anyone wishing to understand the complexities and nuances of American democracy. The movie does a good job of not explicitly favoring one side over the other, leaving viewers to draw their own conclusions, making Recount both a stimulating and thought-provoking viewing experience.

The film is thrilling, captivating, and at times, deeply sobering. It's a haunting look at how close democracy came to a veritable impasse, and just how critical the will of the people is to the functioning of any democratic system. Recount serves as a stark reminder of the imperfections of the democratic process, but also of its resilience. Amidst chaos and controversy, the nation's ability to pull itself together and face the crisis head-on underpins the movie, making Recount a testament to resilience, dedication, and democracy.

Recount is a Drama, History, TV Movie movie released in 2008. It has a runtime of 116 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.3..

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7.3/10
Director
Jay Roach
Stars
Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley, Jr., Laura Dern, John Hurt, Denis Leary, Bruce McGill, Tom Wilkinson, Bruce Altman
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