Sunday, June 1, 2008
When is a good film unwatchable? When the subject-matter is too disgusting. I made it through about 40 minutes of HBO's well crafted Recount, all about the 2000 election and the disintegration of faux democracy in Florida, not to mention the Supreme Court. But eventually I became too queasy. It all seems quite farcical until you connect the misdeeds by vacuous Katherine Harrison and amphibious James Baker to all the civilians and others dead in Iraq, the tortured in Guantanamo, the abandoned in New Orleans, Dick Cheney as Veep, Valerie Plame outed, warrantless wiretaps, a diseased Justice Department, a collapsed dollar, diplomacy adrift, incompetence as a mode of governing, and so on. Forget politics; just with regard to basic competence, Bush is so bad that James Baker probably regrets helping him get appointed to the presidency. That's pretty bad.
If your political and cinematic stomachs are stronger than mine, I hope you watch Recount. It was executively produced by the late Sydney Pollack and nicely written. Kevin Spacey, Tom Wilkinson, and Dennis Leary are wonderful, but Laura Dern steals the thing as the benumbed Harrison.