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3.6
2,769 Ratings

Election

Directed by Alexander Payne
United States, 1999
Comedy, Drama

Synopsis

Tracy Flick is running unopposed for this year’s high school student election. But Jim McAllister has a different plan. Partly to establish a more democratic election, and partly to satisfy some deep personal anger toward Tracy, Jim talks football player Paul Metzler to run for president as well.

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Election Directed by Alexander Payne

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2000 | Nominee: Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Independent Spirit Awards

2000 | 3 wins including: Best Feature

2000 | 2 nominations including: Best Debut Performance

Village Voice Film Poll

1999 | Nominee: Best Film

Contested election results, a dubious recount, a populist demagogue running on a platform of sheer nihilism, a hyperqualified female candidate punished for her unseemly ambition—all these developments still lay in the country’s future when Electioncame out, but the movie already felt timeless in a way that only great comedy can. Over the nearly two decades since, Election’s resonance has continued to grow and deepen.
December 12, 2017
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Beyond [the simplest level], in the microcosm of high school sociology, is one of the most devastating portraits of America’s pathological identification with exceptionalism, and how high the stakes can seem even within—especially within—the deepest recesses of flyover country. Even more so than Fargo, Election is the decade’s preeminent Midwestern farce.
December 12, 2017
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Tracy’s power makes her an outsider: although her peers elect her, they don’t accept her. However, Election also suggests that being an outsider is itself a source of power. Tracy’s authority provides an opportunity to resist formulaic representations of teenage femininity and sexuality. Attractive and icky all at once, she is neither in-the-shadows nerdy nor loved-by-all cool. But she is aggressive. And even more than being aggressively ambitious, Tracy is aggressively herself.
December 03, 2014
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