A Double Feature Recommendation (Election Edition)

Election time is upon us and I hope everyone is out at the polls making sure their vote is counted! We have a lot of fish to fry these midterms, so its imperative that every American is taking this as seriously as they should be. Although I’m not here to tell you who to vote for, I am here to recommend great films in a well-organized fashion. Today, I will be recommending two satirical films with fun election plots.

Election (1999) is one of my favorite films and features a rare antagonistic performance from America’s sweetheart Reese Witherspoon.  While this movie used to always play on network stations during the wee hours of the morning, I haven’t met many people from my generation who have had the chance to enjoy this movie. It’s a wild ride, but relatively tame on satire in comparison to the next selection.

You better prepare to amp it up to an eleven with this next recommendation: Bulworth (1998). A wacky ride written and directed by Warren Beatty that seems especially relevant. I’ve read a few articles where authors suggest this film predicted the rise of Trump, and going in with that knowledge makes the film all the more enjoyable.

Election (1999)

Image courtesy of IMDb

4/5| Comedy| 1hr 45m

Director: Alexander Payne
Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Cinematography: James Glennon

The story revolves around a high school election which takes a toll on all parties involved. This inventive satire is a scathing indictment of suburban high school existence and politics at the lowest level. We follow Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick), a high school history teacher who becomes obsessed with exposing the proverbial goody two-shoes, Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon), for the conniving little monster that she is before she wins the student body presidency. With a slick script and standout performances, this movie slid into my top ten favorites before I could even say “Pick Flick!”

Bulworth (1998)

Image courtesy of And So It Begins Films

2.7/5| Comedy| Drama| Romance|   1hr 48m

Director: Warren Beatty
Screenplay: Warren Beatty, Jeremy Pikser
Cinematography: Vittorio Storaro

Written by Warren Beatty. Directed by Warren Beatty. Starring Warren Beatty. Produced by Warren Beatty…how does that Carly Simon song go again? It doesn’t matter. This film  is a clever satire about U.S. Senator Jay Bulworth, a miserable politician who decides to commit suicide. However, knowing that suicide will void the life insurance policy he placed on himself for his young daughter, Bulworth decides to hire an assassin to do the job. Except when the day comes, he decides he isn’t ready to die, and goes on a cat and mouse chase through town accompanied by his new “urban” friend Nina (Halle Berry). While it occasionally feels like a skit that has gone on for too long, Bulworth has a lot of bull worth saying and is an entertaining treat to watch this election cycle.

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