Election

Election

Election

Alexander Payne's hilarious, cynical satire which reached cult-status after being released on DVD. His second film (Payne would go on to direct Sideways and The Descendants), adapted from Tom Perrotta's novel about a high-school student-body election. Starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon.

Roger Ebert put it well: "Alexander Payne is a director whose satire is omnidirectional. He doesn't choose an easy target and march on it. He stands in the middle of his story and attacks on all directions."

The multi-character tale centres on a battle between despicably ambitious student Tracey Flick (Witherspoon), gunning to win the school election, and teacher Jim McAllister (Broderick), intent on stopping her. Through this conflict brews a wicked battle of small scale politics, deception, and failed morality.

Winner of Best Film, Director and Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards 2000.
1999Rating: R16, contains offensive language and sex scenes99 minsUSA
ComedyDrama

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Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

A dark, insidiously funny satire on the self-involved ways otherwise rational people can allow narrow personal agendas to lead them astray to the point of self-destruction.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

This story might have lent itself to pratfalls and broad gags, but Mr. Payne keeps it chillier. He sees the frailties of all the film's characters, even if its plot is supposedly about winners and losers.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

Now here is a movie that is not simply about an obnoxious student, but also about an imperfect teacher, a lockstep administration, and a student body that is mostly just marking time until it can go out into the world and occupy valuable space.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

A nearly flawless little film, a cheerful nightmare that knows just where it wants to go and uses precisely calibrated comic effects to get there.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

An excellent movie, funny and painful, with a perfectly-turned punchline and a black humour.

4.0
Variety

Variety

press

A dark, insidiously funny satire on the self-involved ways otherwise rational people can allow narrow personal agendas to lead them astray to the point of self-destruction.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

This story might have lent itself to pratfalls and broad gags, but Mr. Payne keeps it chillier. He sees the frailties of all the film's characters, even if its plot is supposedly about winners and losers.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

Now here is a movie that is not simply about an obnoxious student, but also about an imperfect teacher, a lockstep administration, and a student body that is mostly just marking time until it can go out into the world and occupy valuable space.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

A nearly flawless little film, a cheerful nightmare that knows just where it wants to go and uses precisely calibrated comic effects to get there.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

An excellent movie, funny and painful, with a perfectly-turned punchline and a black humour.

4.0

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