Thursday, November 6, 2008

Currently Watching: Recount (2008)

In the spirit of the election, I finally checked out HBO's highly acclaimed miniseries.  I was really upset I didn't get to see it on first run because I love virtually every actor in it.  Director Jay Roach shows off a kind of steady, penetrating docu-drama style I never expected him to be capable of.  It helps that he works with a superb script from Danny Strong, who manages to cover most facets of the election quickly (without ever feeling hurried) and investigative (without feeling partisan).

The ensemble makes the film, with Kevin Spacey and Tom Wilkinson providing the most showy but the most developed performances.  As someone who was a bit too young to really "get" the 2000 recounts, the film does a thorough job of explaining the strategies and thought from both sides and of laying out the various legal and political battles.

The style mirrors a political documentary, allowing the film to move fast without relying often on exposition and allowing Roach to be economic with his shots and editing.  Production design reflects the cluttered atmosphere of campaign offices.

"Recount" is extremely brisk, enthralling, and satisfying as an in-depth political expose.

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