7.4/10
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Recount (2008)

TV-MA | | Drama, History | TV Movie 25 May 2008
A chronicle of the weeks after the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, and the subsequent recounts in Florida.

Director:

Jay Roach

Writer:

Danny Strong
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Ron Klain
Bob Balaban ... Ben Ginsberg
Ed Begley Jr. ... David Boies
Laura Dern ... Katherine Harris
John Hurt ... Warren Christopher
Denis Leary ... Michael Whouley
Bruce McGill ... Mac Stipanovich
Tom Wilkinson ... James Baker
Bruce Altman ... Mitchell Berger
Jayne Atkinson ... Theresa LePore
Gary Basaraba ... Clay Roberts
Derek Cecil ... Jeremy Bash
Eve Gordon ... Monica Klain
Marcia Jean Kurtz ... Carol Roberts
Mitch Pileggi ... Bill Daley
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Storyline

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 Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The future of the nation was hanging by a chad. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Recount: The Story of the 2000 Presidential Election See more »

Filming Locations:

Jacksonville, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cast includes one Oscar winner: Kevin Spacey; and four Oscar nominees: Laura Dern, Tom Wilkinson, Bob Balaban, and Sir John Hurt. See more »

Goofs

Ben Ginsberg states that Bill Daley's father "stole it for JFK," referring to the belief that Chicago mayor Richard Daley rigged the vote in Illinois in 1960. Kennedy would have still won the electoral college without Illinois. See more »

Quotes

Ron Klain: The foundation of our democracy is based on the citizens right to vote. It is our duty as Americans to fulfill that responsability.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.5 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

I Won't Back Down
Written by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne
Performed by Tom Petty
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Remarkably entertaining
20 February 2009 | by bandwSee all my reviews

If you were paying attention to the United States presidential election in 2000, then I suppose you must have a streak of masochism in order to watch this recapitulation--it is bound to stir up the powerful emotions experienced at the time, no matter what side of the divide you were on. Just read some of the reviews and comments to verify what a hot button issue this still is. If you were not paying attention in 2000, or you are too young to remember, then this film will certainly introduce you to all the major events and issues: hanging chads, dimpled chads, recounts, court cases, accusations of voter suppression, confusing ballots, the status of military votes, and so forth. The major players in this high-stakes drama are all here too, and documentary footage is inserted for believability. The film is definitely more than loosely based on fact, since most of the public statements are taken from the record. It's the extrapolations to what went on behind closed doors that is open to question.

This plays like a thriller, even for those who are familiar with the story. If none of this ever happened, then I think all would agree that this is a good movie with a great plot and fine cast. Laura Dern, as Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, creates a memorable character and Tom Wilkinson is a standout as Bush's legal adviser James Baker (Secratary of State under George H. W. Bush). Wilkinson captures Baker almost to the point where you could mistake him for the real person.

I think it came as a surprise at the time that the United States election process could ever be so fouled up. If there is a non-partisan message to be had from this movie it is that measures should be taken to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. While the 2000 election led to the Election Reform Act of 2002, the process is still far from perfect, especially since implementation details are left up to the individual states. Much controversy still exists over electronic voting machines, requirements for user ID, and so forth. And the current Coleman vs. Franken senate contest in Minnesota, now in its fourth month and still undecided, proves that extremely close contests are still messy affairs. Since there are so many arguments to be made on either side in such cases, I often think that such close elections should be decided by a coin toss.

It seems impossible to find a generally-accepted unbiased telling of the 2000 election. The reviews for all books I have looked into seem to split on party lines. Maybe it is impossible to be impartial on this one.


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