Friday, May 23, 2008

FanBoyWonder Television Spotlight--Recount

FanBoyWonder would like to draw your attention to what looks to be a promising television motion picture—Electiona drama/satire/comedy about that little constitutional crisis we had a few years back—The Election of 2000.

Ripped from yesterday’s headlines, Recount seeks to tell the behind-the-scenes story of the fight for the Office of President of the United States between the Democratic Vice-President Al Gore and the Republican then Texas Governor Republican George W. Bush and both camps battle for Florida’s critical and disputed electoral votes.

Here’s The Upshot From HBO Films: “In 2000, the presidential election boiled down to a few precious votes in one state--Florida--and a mandatory recount that would add "hanging chad" to the American political lexicon. Haggling over every ballot, Republican and Democratic campaigners waged a 36-day street fight in the Sunshine State--with the presidency of the United States as the ultimate prize.

“Two-time Oscar®-winner Kevin Spacey stars in this gripping drama that examines the torturous process that culminated in the Supreme Court decision in
Bush vs. Gore. The ensemble cast includes Tom Wilkinson, Denis Leary, Laura Dern, John Hurt, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr. and Bruce McGill. Directed by Jay Roach; written by Danny Strong.”

With the exception of the Elections of 1800 and 1876, the Election of 2000 seems poised to go down in history as the most controversial presidential election in the history of the United States (let’s see if we can still claim this AFTER the first Tuesday of this coming November).

Mixing news footage and verbatim dialogue into fictionalized re-creations, Recount examines the torturous process that culminated in the Supreme Court decision in Bush vs. Gore, according to HBO.

The film’s plot, as described by HBO, has the Republicans, led by Former Secretary of State James Baker, seize the initiative as the case is tried in the judicial system and the court of public opinion. The Democrats play catch-up until Ron Klain, Gore's former chief of staff, takes over and starts matching Baker's political hardball with tough moves of his own. Mutual respect forms between the two as the fate of the presidency plays out among a colorful cast ranging from the impressive (appellate lawyer David Boies) to the maligned (Florida's Secretary of State Katherine Harris).

Recount recreates many of the movers and shakers in the Florida fight. Among the Democrats are Ron Klain (Spacey), soldiering on despite being demoted as Gore's Chief of Staff; Michael Whouley (Leary), Gore's Chief Field Operative; Warren Christopher (Hurt), the onetime Secretary of State whose passivity eventually yields to Klain's more forceful tactics; and David Boies (Begley), an appellate lawyer recruited to articulate the Democrats' message.

The Republicans include James Baker (Wilkinson), another former Secretary of State with a will to win to match Klain's; Ben Ginsberg (Balaban), the campaign's Lead Counsel; Katherine Harris (Dern), Florida's Secretary of State, and Mac Stipanovich (McGill), a lobbyist with the moniker "Mac the Knife," says HBO.

After eight years, enough time has passed that we can start to look back on the events in Florida through the historical prism but it’s still a recent enough event that we can still recall the passion and the confusion of the slow motion political train wreck.

This is a story worth taking the time to watch.

Recount premieres on HBO on Sunday at 9 p.m. EST. For more information and times of encore broadcasts go to the film’s Website


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