Swing Vote

2008 "One ordinary guy is giving the candidates a reason to run."
6.1| 2h0m| PG-13| en| More Info
Released: 01 August 2008 Released
Producted By: Touchstone Pictures
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Budget: 0
Revenue: 0
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Synopsis

In a remarkable turn of events, the result of the presidential election comes down to one man's vote.

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Reviews

ThedevilChoose When a movie has you begging for it to end not even half way through it's pure crap. We've all seen this movie and this characters millions of times, nothing new in it. Don't waste your time.
Bea Swanson This film is so real. It treats its characters with so much care and sensitivity.
Fatma Suarez The movie's neither hopeful in contrived ways, nor hopeless in different contrived ways. Somehow it manages to be wonderful
Nicole I enjoyed watching this film and would recommend other to give it a try , (as I am) but this movie, although enjoyable to watch due to the better than average acting fails to add anything new to its storyline that is all too familiar to these types of movies.
muvi-fan-73 Swing vote is a movie about a person who because of some reason comes last in casting his vote. The result is his vote is considered precious and chains of people are involved in influencing his vote. The attentive daughter and a lazy father who changes for good are nicely executed.The guy's daughter plays an important and this is what I like in the movie. She guides him through thick and thin to address various issues to the people in charge. She is the reason why he changes for good and at last what we have a fine movie with a very possible ending.The reason why this movie is rated so much by me is because even I have got someone to help in my decisions. Cheers to that!
dimplet This is a little gem that absorbs so much of our zeitgeist and angst, and turns it into a surprisingly entertaining picture. On the surface, it sounds like it should be a stinker, yet there are some interesting and touching twists to the plot, especially toward the end. Costner plays a Homer Simpson dumb-ass, yet Swing Vote avoids falling into the Dumb and Dumber genre, thanks in part to his "Lisa Simpson" daughter, played to perfection by Madeline Carroll, and to the genuineness of Costner's performance. It also avoids falling into stereotypes of politicians and their operatives, though it sometimes comes close. The candidates, at least, do have second thoughts and feelings. The screenplay builds characters deftly. The movie is a bit long and slow, but to good effect. I am tired of hyper, zipping movies. The scenes with Bud and Molly fishing, with the President and Bud just sitting outside on chaises, need the slow pace to convey atmosphere. And it says that Bud is the sort of guy who just likes to enjoy a quiet life. He isn't a bad guy, and in an earlier decade with a better economy, might have done just fine; as such he represents millions of Americans. The basic premise is more that a little improbable, of course, of an election decided by one vote. And yet we see stories about this on the local level often enough. It is movie as fable, much like the classic "Dave," a point alluded to by John Debney's score when it echoes the fairytale effects of James Newton Howard's score from "Dave." Both are about an everyman who gets to call the shots when he becomes king for a day. We get to imagine ourselves in their shoes. Spoiler alert: Swing Vote has a fantastic premise, and as such, we viewers are treated to the spectacle of seeing how far the writers and director can go out on a limb before it collapses. It never does. We wonder how it will end, who Bud will vote for, will he get a job, will he get the girl? Wisely, but sadly, they don't take us that far, leaving it to the viewer's imagination. It is nice to have an ending that leaves things to think about.There are so many echoes in this movie of life and art, particularly the bizarre Dade County endless recounts of the 2000 Bush-Gore election. That was a case of truth being stranger than fiction; I still have trouble believing that a U.S. Presidential election was virtually stolen by someone who lost by more than a half-million votes.Swing Vote is sort of the Wag the Dog of electoral politics, with the transmogrification of reality into PR media reality, as every word Bud utters leads to a near instantaneous rewriting of the candidates' positions through television ads addressed to Dear Bud. It also brings to mind The Lathe of Heaven, where the character's dreams and wishes instantaneously transform the world. Both Dave and Swing Vote are heirs to the Capra tradition of film populism -- and both have a hefty list of real-life cameos.Swing Vote is a reductio ad absurdum of everyday poll-driven swing-voter politics to their ultimate absurdity: a single voter. It is amusing and frightening. But Molly and reporter Kate Madison save the day by rubbing Bud's nose in the reality of some of the thousands of letters he has received from people who are hurting, who care passionately about the issues. Finally, Bud takes his responsibility seriously, ending the movie on a note of hope. If Bud is the Everyman, then what it is saying is that if every voter were to take his responsibility to weigh the issues as seriously, perhaps the candidates, too, would respond with substance. For they and their handlers care, but under the imperative to win must cater to an electorate that does not think deeply, who, like Bud, are probably in a beer haze while voting -- if they do.Six years on, Swing Vote has become a sleeper, a potential classic that most viewers have overlooked. I highly recommend it. It's message is as timely as ever. Most of all, it is a fun, entertaining movie.
tburke85 Swing Vote is an inspiring drama with some humor thanks due to the great performances by Kevin Costner and most of the cast some aren't given much to do but they make the best of their limited screen time. Director Joshua Michael Stern has done an admirable job of making this movie thats a story about an ordinary guy whose one vote will decide the next President Of The United States. Costner turns in a very believable performance as Bud Johnson a lazy beer slinging father whose one bright light in his mundane existence is his daughter Molly. Madeline Carroll who plays Molly is just as impressive she more than holds her own against Costner on the screen. They both have good chemistry together which made their father and daughter relationship believable. Costner and Carroll also brought much comic relief to the film as his character who starts off a nobody becomes an overnight celebrity because somehow his one vote will decide the next president. The supporting cast are admirable in their roles too including Paula Patton, Kelsey Grammar, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, and Stanley Tucci. Some of them don't have much to do and aren't given a lot screen time because most of the focus is on Costner and his daughter but they still are effective supporting characters. George Lopez and Judge Reinhold even show up for brief appearances who are humorous in their roles but they like some other characters lack screen time. All of them however do bring some comic relief to the movie (like Costner and Carroll) because of things some of them are willing to do to get that one vote from Costner's character. The pacing of the movie was a little slow but once things started to get going it moved at a steady pace from there. Despite some flaws with character development and the pacing Swing Vote was still much better than expected. I thought I wasn't going to like this movie and I ended up enjoying it. Swing Vote may not be a masterpiece or class but it's still an above average comedy drama with terrific performances by most of the cast who make it an enjoyable film to watch.
Michael DeZubiria I'm going to go ahead and assume that it's not an easy task to make a crowd-pleasing movie centered on politics that goes to such strenuous efforts to be non-partisan and maybe chalk up my dissatisfaction with the movie to that. Then again, it might also have something to do with a critical decision that they made in how to end the movie, which is sure to make every single solitary person who watches it throw up their arms in disgust. But the movie is not about who wins the presidency, it's about the pure chaos of the American political system and its millions of weaknesses and faults. Sure, the premise of a presidential election coming down to a single vote is as preposterous as they come, but man if this movie doesn't get you thinking critically about the electoral process then it's safe to assume that probably nothing ever will. Kevin Costner plays Bud, an American nobody from New Mexico who has never done anything with his life except have a daughter with a delusional drug addict who thinks she has a big singing career in her near future. He works as an egg inspector at an egg packaging plant, and he and his co-workers mourn the loss of their friends' (and soon, their own) jobs to "insourcing," the process of bringing Mexicans in to take their jobs rather than ship the factory and all those egg-laying chickens to Mexico. Bud staggers through life in a drunken daze most of the time, routinely letting down his daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll), who raises him like a child. She gets him out of bed in the morning, criticizes his laziness and irresponsibility, reminds him to vote because it's part of a school project that she has to do, and through sighs of exasperation attempts to keep him at least a little bit in line. And of course it's the only thing in life that she fails at. When Bud gets drunk rather than show up to vote, she manages to almost cast his vote herself due to the sleepy voting booth security of beautiful Texico, New Mexico, which Google Earth has just informed me is a real place. Population 1,065.In a clever plot development, it turns out that Bud's vote didn't go completely through but it appeared that he was there, so he is given another opportunity to cast his vote. Not right away, mind you, even though he evidently already tried to vote and thus probably had his mind made up. No, he is given ten days before he has to vote, thus providing plenty of time for a movie to happen.Young Madeline Carroll steals most of the scenes that she's in as Bud's daughter, so it's interesting that her character is one of the biggest weak points in the movie, the other one being her dad. Bud is supposed to be a typical American, but I just saw a drifting drunk who never did anything with his life and never would have had he not been forced to. It's true that the vast majority of Americans live lives that are closer to Bud's than President Boone's (Kelsey Grammar), but does he have to be a TOTAL loser? How about just making him be a likable, regular guy? Like the guy he played in Field of Dreams? When I imagine the average American, I imagine something like Ray Kinsella. Although maybe with a slightly smaller house and less whispering from the sky.The other problem is that the screenwriters overshot the character of Molly by about 160 IQ points. So much for the average American, right? This girl writes a school essay that doesn't merit a special award from the principal to show her dad, it grants her NATIONAL TELEVISED RECOGNITION. But to be honest, I had more of a problem with the fact that not only does she wake her deadbeat dad up in the morning so he could take her to school, she also treks to the bar and, finding him passed out in his truck when he should have been voting, she pushes him over and then drives him home herself. She's about 11 years old. But where the movie succeeds is as a scathing revelation about certain realities of the American electoral process, such as the electoral college, which simplifies the vote-counting process even while massively distorting the actual numbers of who voted for who. The whole movie is about how one man's vote really does matter, but it leaves you with the feeling that you are supposed to forget that once he votes, every single vote in his state for the other candidate WON'T matter anymore, because they'll be switched to the other candidate. Isn't it interesting how that works? Can't we just count every single vote and award each candidate one huge number of individual votes? Seems a little more accurate to me.Anyway, I do appreciate the way the movie highlights the fact that both sides, Republican and Democrat, are equally willing to stoop to any level and do absolutely whatever it takes to win, and that no one is above hitting below the belt and making hugely unethical decisions. There is a lot that needs to be changed in American politics, and even while clearly being based on the Election of 2000, one of the most controversial in American history, it calls those things to attention without ever even hinting that either side is right or wrong. The movie insists that America is the greatest country in the world but that in some ways, we're doing it all wrong, but the fact that a movie like this has the freedom to get made proves that even though we haven't reached a level of pure cohesive harmony, underneath all of our imperfections is a clear desire to get there.