Serena Freewomyn

Costner Plays Politics in "Swing Vote"

Filed By Serena Freewomyn | August 01, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Politics
Tags: Democratic Party, election campaigns, Electoral College, Kevin Costner, Swing Vote

In the new movie "Swing Vote," Kevin Costner plays an alcoholic single father named Bud who has just lost his job. He makes a promise to his daughter Molly that he will show up and vote on election day, but he lets her down when he goes to the bar to console himself after getting laid off. Molly waits for him at the polling place until they are about to close. And when Bud doesn't show up, Molly decides to take matters into her own hands to make sure that her father's vote is counted.

There's just one hitch - the touch screen voting machine malfunctions and it's like election night 2000 all over again. Under New Mexico election laws, Bud is entitled to recast his vote, and the rest of the movie centers around both presidential candidates' efforts to court Bud's vote. The film is an interesting critique of our election system and how candidates are willing to say or do anything to win votes. In the movie, the Democrats come out against abortion and immigration, while the Republicans come out in favor of environmental protections. They may be taking things to the extreme, but I think the movie definitely underscores the ways that the Democrats have sold out their liberal and progressive base.

There are a couple of really great lines in the movie and Bud and Molly debate the value of voting. Bud maintains that voting doesn't change a damn thing for poor people, but Molly says it's Bud's civic duty and implies a social contract. When she asks Bud what his political affiliation is, he can't really answer the question. But Molly still responds by saying that the two-party system is a total failure. I tend agree with Bud about voting and Molly about political parties. Either way you slice it, the system is broken.

If you're sick of the election and you're looking for something to do this weekend, I totally recommend this movie, if only for the abortion ad that will make you shit your pants.


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It sounds good, Serena! I'll have to check it out...

I've always thought Costner was a wooden actor - I doubt it's a coincidence that he played Alex, the guy who committed suicide before the beginning of "The Big Chill". The only good movies Costner's ever made were either political (13 Days) or baseball (Bull Durhan, Field of Dreams, For Love Of The Game) based. That means this one has to be good, and I'd probably better go see it.

I've always thought Costner was a wooden actor - I doubt it's a coincidence that he played Alex, the guy who committed suicide before the beginning of "The Big Chill". The only good movies Costner's ever made were either political (13 Days, JFK) or baseball (Bull Durhan, Field of Dreams, For Love Of The Game) based. That means this one has to be good, and I'd probably better go see it.

Polar! Robin Hood! (Although that might qualify as "political" LOL)

I soooo want to see this movie. I can't wait till we go see it on matinee this weekend.

I could see "Robin Hood" being considered political, but I didn't like Costner in that - he was the Brat Pack Robin Hood, didn't even attempt an English accent, and was thoroughly upstaged by the always-excellent Alan Rickman. Robin Hood will, for me, always be Errol Flynn. Who was, of course, family.

That is interesting to think about - what if the entire election came down to you?