Swing Vote (12A)

Film

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Time Out rating:

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Time Out says

Tue Sep 23 2008

This starring vehicle for Kevin Costner is a strange fish: part folksy, Southern comedy, part Deeds-ian, pre-US election, political conscience movie, part generation-gap tear-jerker and all baloney. Costner, as gratingly ingratiating as ever, plays Bud, the ‘lovable’ ramshackle, ever-hungover, blue-collar single dad to 12-year-old verbal sharpshooter daughter Molly (Madeleine Carroll) in Texico, New Mexico, who finds the presidential election is hung on his single vote.

How? Don’t ask– it’s a hanging chad kinda thing, which results in Kelsey Grammer’s overconfident sitting Republican president and Dennis Hopper’s Democratic hopeful outdoing each other both in their shameless courting of the first frightened then flattered ‘ordinary joe’ and also in the spineless policy reversals they offer in response to his homespun political appeals. Costner is the presiding spirit here, rather than director Joshua Michael Stern (who’s slated to direct our Keira in the upcoming ‘King Lear’) and must take all the blame – he shoots simultaneously for ‘wake up, America!’ inspiration and good ol’ boy charm but ends up putting both barrels through his own cowboy-booted foot.
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