As my love affair with Alexander Payne continues, I have chosen to watch Election. An indictment of high school cliches and of the democratic process, this film pits a socially conscious high school teacher against an overachieving student. The plot mostly revolves around Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) slowly derailing his own life in order to prevent Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) from winning a school election, but there is so much more that makes this film spectacular. There are a number of techniques employed by Payne to emphasize the distance that each character feels from the moral center, including flashbacks and narration to show the descent of both Flick and McAllister into the amoral world of politics. There is a lot to love about this film, but the beauty comes from its bleak look at the immorality of success and the lengths to which a seemingly innocent teen will go.
Hilarious and under appreciated, this film is a comedic triumph.
I’ll cast my vote now for Tracy Flick and award her this election with…
4 out of 5