Swing Vote

First Hit: This was much better than I thought it would be.

My fear of seeing this film was that there seemed to be a high probability of it being a dumb put on or a tongue-in-cheek farce. The previews didn’t do much to dispel this thought or perception.

However, I was gladly wrong. My first concern was how could 1 vote make a difference? The filmmakers did a reasonable job of explaining how an event like this could happen. Not that I fully bought the premise but it was enough to make be move through my internal hurdle.

The second concern was would the actors play this as sort of a fluff piece and not take the premise seriously, especially Kevin Costner who needed to play someone who isn’t very bright and has no inclination to learn?

However, again I was surprised. Kevin (as Bud), plays a middle aged man who works in an egg factory sorting eggs. He is raising his daughter Molly (played by Madeline Carroll) who is smart as a whip and is running the family show.

She takes care of Kevin and wants him to care more about everything and especially his right and social responsibility to cast his vote. He promises to show up, but gets laid off that day, gets drunk, and fails to show up at the polling booth where Molly is patiently waiting for him. As the time for the poll reaches closing time, she decides to sneak in, get his ballot, and vote for him.

However, the voting machine gets unplugged at the critical moment and therefore his (her) vote isn’t registered. Because his single vote will decide the election, he gets 10 days to revote.

The incumbent President and his challenger come to his town and do what they can to persuade his upcoming vote.

Kevin Costner pulls this off. He is excellent as Bud and doesn’t minimize or over play the role. Madeline Carroll, playing Molly is equally outstanding and I trust her good work here will create additional acting roles for her. The combination of them together was excellent. Both Dennis Hopper (The democratic candidate) and Kelsey Grammer (the incumbent republican president) are good in their roles and show how politicians bend their principals to win. Lastly, seeing Mare Winningham (as Molly's mother) was wonderful and her 5 minutes of screen time was a plus.

Overall: This was an enjoyable funny poignant film because we are in the midst of a political presidential race.