The story of what happened in Florida in the aftermath of the 2000 Presidential Election.If you're like me, then you watched these events unfurl as they happened with the same sense that one watches a car crash. The seemingly enormously undemocratic manner in which the so-called home of democracy elects its leader played out in front of the world like a bad soap opera.
Well, Recount is no bad soap opera. It's a thrilling and suspenseful tale, despite the fact that we all know how it ends. But the ending is not what matters, it is the journey to the end. Kevin Spacey plays Ron Klain, campaign advisor to Al Gore, who goes too Florida to attempt to sort out the mess that was that election. The fights that follow concerning hanging chads, extensions to deadlines, court interventions and recounts are simply superb to watch unfold, aided by the superb supporting cast, including Ed Begley Jr and Denis Leary.
The fascinating thing about Recount is that it does not go to any great effort to demonise the Republican party. Instead, it criticises those in power in both parties. The high-powered Republicans are shown as arrogant, self-righteous and hugely devious (personified in Bush's campaign representative James Baker (Tom Wilkinson), and Katherine Harris (Laura Dern) who wilfully and partisanly abuses the position of her office to her own ends), while their Democratic counterparts are shown to be weak, spineless and holier-than-thou (shown in Warren Christopher (John Hurt), who is more concerned about looking better than the Republicans than winning, or even contesting, the result).
For me, however, the single best thing about Recount is that Spacey's Klain seems to be motivated above all else by the simple goal of finding out who actually won the election. The hardest part of all is that he, like us, never finds this out.
A well written, well acted tale of the mostly hotly contested election result in American history. Don't let its made-for-TV status scare you off, this was commissioned by HBO, and the touch of quality is visible throughout. Certainly well worth a watch, especially when there's no longer an immediate need to be concerned about a repeat of these events. A-.