Movie Analysis: Election (1999)

Considering How chaotic 2020 was, you might want to watch a movie that has dramatic and self-destructive characters. “Election” is a great jaw dropping movie that is both chaotic and absolutely hilarious.

Election was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing Screenplay based on Material Previously Produced or Published. Image Courtesy of IMP Awards.

“Election” was released on May 7, 1999, and was written and directed by Alexander Payne. The movie is an adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s book Election. 

It was nominated for 34 awards such as the golden globe award for Best Performance in a Motion Picture and an Oscar in 2000 for Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced. Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress in the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards for her performance.

“A highschool teacher meets his match in an over-achieving student politician,” says a synopsis on IMDB.

Election stars Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick, and Matthew Broderick as Jim McAllister. This movie was rated R for strong sexuality, sex related dialogue  language and a scene of drug use. It had a budget of about 25 million dollars.

According to the fun facts on IMDB, the Spanish teacher featured in the film was actually Payne’s former Spanish and French teacher. . Another fun fact is Reese Witherspoon’s portrayal of Tracy Flick was voted as the 45th Greatest Movie Performances of all time by Premiere Magazine. 

This movie is so incredible and chaotic. It isn’t appropriate for  young kids, but it is a good watch if you’d like to see a petty drama. This movie has so much drama and many twists and turns. The synopsis doesn’t do it justice for how amazingly turbulent this movie is. 

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The performances by Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick were so amazing. I enjoyed the story line between the two, but also the storyline between Paul and Tammy Metzler, a brother and sister who have an unexpected rivalry. The reason for the rivalry between the brother and sister is because the Tammy is in love with her best friend, but her best friend doesn’t want to be in a relationship with her because the friend isn’t gay. After that feud Paul was tempted by Mr. McAllister run for class president because he doesn’t want to be alone with Tracy. Once Tammy finds out that Paul is running she runs because she wants to get back at him after she found out that Paul was now dating the best friend she liked. There are many storylines which could easily get tangled up or lost but the writing and direction is so good that everything is coherent and the story lines don’t get lost in the film.

Tracy Flick was about to run unopposed for president, but then a rivalry between two siblings change that. Image courtesy by Criterion.

Throughout the film the theme of morality is continuous and each character has their struggle with it. While Mr. McAllester is preaching about how people need to have strict morals and that’s what makes people human, he is trying to sleep with his best friend’s wife who was fired because he slept with Tracy. I think that’s what this film is about, people who preach how we need to be more moral are the same ones who are of the guilty party. It’s a really fun watch and I couldn’t recommend it enough. 

Do you have any recommendations on what films I should look into next? Send your suggestions to [email protected]