Grassroots

Based on Seattle’s 2001 city council elections, Stephen Gyllenhaal’s political satire tells the real-life story of candidate Grant Cogswell (Joel David Moore) who took on, and nearly beat, long-entrenched incumbent Richard McIver (a winning Cedric the Entertainer). In fictionalizing the campaign, Gyllenhaal and his cowriters focus as much on Cogswell’s levelheaded manager, Phil Campbell (Jason Biggs), as they do on the excitable populist himself—a decision that means the complexities of the electoral process are often pushed aside in favor of lauding community activism or lame subplots involving Phil’s romantic life. Factor in a questionable use of 9/11 footage, and this is one film as misguided as the business-as-usual subject it aims to critique.

Follow Andrew Schenker on Twitter: @aschenker

Release details

Rated: R
Release date: Friday July 13 2012
Duration: 100 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Stephen Gyllenhaal
Screenwriter: Stephen Gyllenhaal, Justin Rhodes
Cast: Jason Biggs
Lauren Ambrose
Joel David Moore
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