Recount (film)

Recount (film)

Infobox Film
name = Recount

image_size =
caption = recount logo
director = Jay Roach
producer = Michael Hausman
Danny Strong (co-producer)
Len Amato (exec.)
Jay Roach (exec.)
Sydney Pollack (exec.)
Paula Weinstein (exec.)
writer = Danny Strong
narrator =
starring = Kevin Spacey
Denis Leary
Laura Dern
Tom Wilkinson
John Hurt
music = Dave Grusin
cinematography = Jim Denault
editing = Alan Baumgarten
distributor = HBO
released = 25 May 2008 (Television)
19 August 2008 (DVD)
runtime =
country = USA
language = English
budget =
gross =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:450952
imdb_id = 1000771

"Recount" is an Emmy Award winning 2008 made-for-TV movie about the 2000 Presidential election in the United States. It is a political drama written by Danny Strong, directed by Jay Roach, and produced by Kevin Spacey (who also stars in the film).

"Recount" premiered on HBO on 25 May 2008. The DVD was released on August 19, 2008. [ [ Recount Dimples DVD's Chad] ]


"Recount" chronicles the 2000 "Bush v. Gore" case between Governor of Texas George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore. It begins with the election on 7 November and ends with the Supreme Court ruling which stopped the Florida election recount on 12 December. Key points depicted include Gore's retraction of his personal telephone concession to Bush in the early hours of November 8; the decision by the Gore campaign to sue for hand recounts in Democratic strongholds where voting irregularities were alleged, especially in light of the statistical dead heat revealed by the reported machine recount; Republican pressure on Florida’s Secretary of State Katharine Harris in light of her legally mandated responsibilities; the attention focused on the hand recounts by media, parties, and the public; the two major announcements by Florida Supreme Court spokesman Craig Waters extending the deadline for returns in the initial recount (November 21, 2000) and ordering a statewide recount of votes (December 8, 2000), and later overturned by the United States Supreme Court; and finally the adversarial postures of the Supreme Courts of Florida and the United States, as well as the dissenting opinions amongst the justices of the higher court.



In April 2007 it was announced that Sydney Pollack was going to be the film's director [ [ Pollack 'making Bush poll movie'] , from the BBC News website] ; by August, weeks away from the start of principal photography, Pollack withdrew from the project due to a then-undisclosed illness. [ [ Ill Pollack steps down from film] , from the BBC News website] Pollack died of cancer on May 26 2008, one day after "Recount" premiered on HBO. [ [ US director Sydney Pollack dies] , from the BBC News website]


The film was filmed mostly in Jacksonville, Florida. Many scenes were shot in city hall, the federal courthouse, or the Riverplace Tower. Other scenes were shot on location on November 3&4, 2007, inside the actual courtroom of the Florida Supreme Court Building and outside its front exterior in Tallahassee, FL. This was the first time a Chief Justice of Florida, in this case R. Fred Lewis at the request of Craig Waters, granted permission for the filming of a major motion picture on the Court's property. [ [ Florida was perfect climate for HBO's "Recount"] ]



Audience numbers

According to Reuters, approximately 1 million viewers watched "Recount" on the evening of the film's premiere. This was a lower number than two previous HBO film releases ("Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" and "John Adams").cite web
title=HBO's "Recount" underwhelms at polls
accessdate= 2008-06-01
date= 30 May 2008
work= |publisher="Reuters"
] Reuters also noted that "Recount" "aired over Memorial Day weekend, when audience levels are lower than usual" and that "ratings tend to improve over subsequent airings after their premieres."

Awards and nominations

2008 Emmy Award :

*Outstanding Made-For-Television Movie
*Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special (Jay Roach)
*Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or Movie

*Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries or Movie
*Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
*Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie [Spacey, Wilkinson]
*Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie [Balaban, Leary]
*Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
*Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special


"Recount" received an 80% rating from "Top Critics" at Rotten Tomatoes (8 "fresh" and 2 "rotten" reviews) [ [ Recount (Top Critics) @ Rotten Tomatoes] ] and an overall rating of 75% from all critics (12 "fresh" and 4 "rotten" reviews). [ [ Recount @ Rotten Tomatoes] ]

Response to fictionalization

Some criticized the movie for its mixture of fact with fiction. In an interview with CNN's "Reliable Sources", director Jay Roach stated in response that the film, "wasn't 100 percent accurate, but it was very true to what went on. . . . That's what dramatizations do: stitch together the big ideas with, sometimes, constructs that have to stand for a larger truth." Roach cited "All the President's Men" as an example. [ Truth and Chads Hang In the Balance Of 'Recount'] ] Jake Tapper, an ABC newscaster who was a consultant for the film also stated in response that the film is "a fictional version of what happened" and "tilts to the left because it's generally told from the point of view of the Democrats." The "Washington Post" further stated that Tapper noted that "while some scenes and language are manufactured, 'a lot of dialogue is not invented, a lot of dialogue is taken from my book, other books and real life.' "

Warren Christopher, who was sent by Gore to supervise the recount, has objected to his portrayal in the film. According to the "San Jose Mercury News", Christopher quote|...has not seen the film, but he read transcripts of scenes featuring his character, who is portrayed as a high-minded but naive statesman. In one scene, Christopher, played by John Hurt, suggests to former Secretary of State James Baker - who was spearheading Bush's Florida legal team - that they try to resolve the recount through 'diplomacy and compromise.' 'That's absurd,' Christopher says. 'Both Baker and I knew this would be a fight to the end that only one side could win.' (Baker agreed that the film exaggerated his rival's stance: 'He's not that much of a wuss.')|Matea Gold|"San Jose Mercury News"cite web
title=HBO's 'Recount' revisits hanging chad debacle
accessdate= 2008-05-26
author= |last=Gold |first=Matea
authorlink= |coauthors=
date= 22 May 2008
work= |publisher="San Jose Mercury News"

Democratic strategist Michael Whouley has objected to the amount of swearing he does in the film, and was also uncomfortable with a scene involving a broken chair.

In contrast, Bush legal advisers James Baker and Benjamin Ginsberg have largely given the film good reviews; Baker even hosted his own screening of it, though he does refer to the film as a "Hollywood rendition" of what happened.


External links

* [ Official site]

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