No, not election(s) in general, Election the movie from 1999, directed by Alexander Payne and written by him and Jim Taylor from a novel by Tom Perrotta. Starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon.

I recently got back a stack of DVDs from Fiona (of Deliver Me, Two Words, and Pink fame), which I lent to her last year after she broke her knee, and promptly re-watched one of my all-time favs. If you’ve never seen this film, I strongly encourage you to do so immediately and have thoughtfully compiled a list of reasons why…

1. The story. So simple, yet so brilliant. A solid piece of entertainment built around a high school election that also manages to explore it’s very serious theme of ethics and morals on every level (including filmically!).

2. Matthew Broderick as Jim McAllister. Fantastic actor, and a pleasure to have watched go from great teen movies (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) to great adult movies (see also You Can Count On Me).

Reese Witherspoon & Matthew Broderick in Election.

3. Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick. One of my favorite actresses working today. Can do leading lady as well as character pieces. Comedy. Drama. She sings. She’s amazing. Reese can do no wrong.

4. Discriminating and excellent use of swear words.

5. The language/writing in general. (As highlighted by DVD scene selection titles such as ‘harmonious & productive‘, and ‘slanderous accusations‘.)

6. The voice overs. While most films demonstrate how one voice-over is too much, Election proves that four is just right.

7. The music. Not just the wonderful score by Rolfe Kent, but the excellent song choices and wonderful ‘sting’ used whenever Reese Witherspoon’s character gets mad (a piece by Ennio Morricone originally composed for the spaghetti western Navajo Joe)

8. Larry Fouch. The Election Committee Chairman played by Nick D’Agosto in an excellent performance with just the right amount of gravitas.

9. One of the best product placements ever. It’s tied into a joke, a realization, and gives a little added layer to the ending.

10. The sound design. Subtle and fun- One of the best examples is in a scene towards the end, where the speed of windshield wipers speed up ever so subtly to mimic Matthew Broderick’s character’s anxiety.


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