This HBO movie premiered last week, and I’ve seen it twice already. Recount tells the story of the disputed 2000 Presidential elections results in Florida. Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, or an independent, this movie should make your blood boil.

As with any portrayal of historic events, Recount loses some of the nuances of events and personalities as it compresses thirty-six days into under two hours. However, the portrayal of well known figures and the general time line is spot on. Who doesn’t recall Katherine Harris’ plastered on look? Laura Dern plays her masterfully. We see her transformation from an unqualified party hack in an important position, to the individual who tried to manipulate the results of the election.

The main figure in this movie is Ron Klain, who led the fight for a recount for the Democrats. Klain is portrayed by Kevin Spacey; another fine performance. Most frightening is former Secretary of State James Baker (Tom Wilkinson), who decides from the start that the issue of disputed ballots and recounts must go the the United States Supreme Court.

No matter how closely you were paying attention 2000, there were goings on that were not made public. Many of them turn up in this movie. You also learn more than you ever thought there was to know about hanging chad (including that the correct plural of chad is chad). If you are even mildly intersted in politics, you should watch this film.

Hanging Chads: The Inside Story of the 2000 Presidential Recount in Florida


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