Swing Vote (2008 film)

Swing Vote (2008 film)

Infobox Film
name = Swing Vote

image_size =
caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Joshua Michael Stern
producer = Kevin Costner Jim Wilson
writer = Joshua Michael Stern Jason Richman
narrator =
starring = Kevin Costner Paula Patton Kelsey Grammer Dennis Hopper Nathan Lane Stanley Tucci with George Lopez Madeline Carroll (introducing)
music = John Debney
cinematography = Shane Hurlbut
editing = Jeff McEvoy
distributor = Touchstone Pictures
released = August 1, 2008
runtime = 120 minutes
country = United States
language = English
budget = $20 million
gross =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website = http://www.swingvote-themovie.com/
amg_id = 1:397868
imdb_id = 1027862

"Swing Vote" is a 2008 dramedy film about an entire U.S. presidential election determined by the vote of one man. It was directed by Joshua Michael Stern and starred Kevin Costner, Paula Patton, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci, George Lopez and introducing Madeline Carroll. The film was released on August 1, 2008. [http://www.movieweb.com/news/97/20997.php "Six Actors Join Kevin Costner on His Swing Vote".] Movieweb.com]


"Swing Vote" deals with the story of an election set somewhere in the near future where Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner), a lovable loser who is coasting through life and hasn't a single political thought in his head, is thrust into an improbable dilemma. In response, he is coaxed by his 12-year-old daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll) to take more of a serious approach to life. Molly runs the household and sees an opportunity on election day to energize her father. The election is a "dead heat" with the sole deciding ballot in the hands of a mystified Bud, who is being wooed by candidates from both sides, the incumbent Republican Andrew Carington Boone (Kelsey Grammer) and the opposing Democrat (whose political office is never given), Donald Greenleaf (Dennis Hopper). Neither of the candidates Vice Presidential selections are mentioned.

Bud's actual opinions (or lack thereof) are misinterpreted by the media, causing the candidates to flip-flop on several positions (The Democrats take a pro-life and anti-immigration stand, while the Republicans take a pro-environmental and pro gay marriage stand). In the end, Bud chooses to hold a final debate the day before he is set to recast his ballot. In a written speech, he confesses that he knows little to nothing about politics, or for that matter, life, and decides to ask questions from people in the mail. The movie ends with Bud casting his vote, though it is never revealed who he voted for.


Filming of "Swing Vote" primarily took place in Albuquerque and Belen, New Mexico. Although not intended as a political statement on the upcoming presidential elections, when Kevin Costner found he couldn’t get the financing he wanted for "Swing Vote", "to get it into theaters in time for the 2008 presidential election, he bankrolled it himself." [DeYoung, Bill. [http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2008/aug/01/swing-vote-costner-throws-his-hat-ring/ "'Swing Vote': Costner throws his hat into the ring".] Scripps Interactive Newspaper Group, August 1, 2008. Retrieved: August 1, 2008.]

Joshua Michael Stern, who directed and co-wrote the script with Jason Richman, had earlier precedents to follow. The premise of the film is similar to an Isaac Asimov story Franchise, in which elections have evolved until the entire decision is based on one man chosen by Multivac. The premise of Garson Kanin’s 1939 movie "The Great Man Votes" is also very similar to "Swing Vote". [ [http://movies.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/movies/01swin.html "Hey America This Guy's For You".] "New York Times", August 1, 2008. Retrieved: August 1, 2008.]


As appearing in screen credits (main roles identified): [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1027862/fullcredits Swing Vote (2008) Full credits] ]

Aaron Brown, Campbell Brown, Mary Hart, Arianna Huffington, James Carville, Larry King, Bill Maher, Chris Matthews, Willie Nelson, Lawrence O'Donnell and Richard Petty appear as themselves (mainly in cameos).


Initial reaction to the film by media critics centered around Costner's performance which was characterized as "unsentimental" but handled "with such ease and conviction" that it anchors the film. [Sragow, Michael. [http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/custom/today/bal-to.swing01aug01,0,1505384.story "Casting a 'Vote' for satire".] "Baltimore Sun", baltimoresun.com, August 1, 2008. Retrieved: August 1, 2008.] Roger Ebert noted that in building the premise, "the movie makes a plucky stab at explaining how it comes to happen - and it almost sounds plausible." He gave it three stars. [Ebert, Roger. [http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080730/REVIEWS/71153650/1023 "Swing Vote Review".] "Chicago Sun Times", July 31, 2008. Retrieved: August 5, 2008.] Citing a "mix of comedy and drama is winning; Costner couldn't be better, and the little girl is a find." Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle also gave it favorable reviews. [LaSalle, Mick. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/01/DD26121IQH.DTL "Movie review: 'Swing Vote'"] . "San Francisco Chronicle", August 1, 2008. Retrieved: August 5, 2008.] On the other hand, Richard Roeper was quoted as "Not a bad movie, probably OK to rent on DVD, but I’m saying don’t rush to the theaters." [ [http://bventertainment.go.com/tv/buenavista/ebertandroeper/index2.html?sec=1&subsec=5834 "Swing Vote Review".] "At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper", August 1, 2008. Retrieved: August 5, 2008.]

Reception by reviewers has been mixed to negative and the film holds a 39% negative approval rating on the review website Rotten Tomatoes based on 102 reviews, and a 47% mixed to average approval rating on Metacritic The film had a weak opening of less than $7 million and as of August 2008, recouped only a total gross of $13 million, $7 million less than the film cost to make. [http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=swingvote.htm "Swing Vote Gross."] BoxOfficeMojo.com, 2008. Retrieved: August 14, 2008.]

After release, a controversy arose when one of the main stars complained about his role being cut; Dennis Hopper in a series of interviews, claimed, "I got cut out of that movie". [Rush, George and Joanna Molloy (Rush & Malloy). [http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/rush_molloy/ "Hopper: 'Vote' ain't got that 'Swing'".] "New York Daily News", August 7, 2008. Retrieved: August 9, 2008.]


Bradley Blakeman, a former deputy assistant for appointments and scheduling to President George W. Bush, filed a lawsuit on August 7, 2008, stating that he gave Kelsey Grammer a copyrighted screenplay entitled "Go November" in 2006. The lawsuit, filed at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Long Island, New York, is against Grammer, Kevin Costner (co-financier), The Walt Disney Company (owner of the film rights), Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group Inc. (production company) and Touchstone Pictures (distributor), and claims that the plot and marketing elements of "Swing Vote" were stolen from him. [Gross, Samantha. "Ex-Bush aide claims 'Swing Vote' stolen from him." "Associated Press", August 8, 2008. Retrieved: August 9, 2008.]




* Wills, Dominic. [http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/biographies/kevin_costner_biog.html "Kevin Costner Biography".] tiscali.co.uk. Retrieved: May 16, 2008.

External links

* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1027862/ "Swing Vote"] at the Internet Movie Database
* [http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:397868 "Swing Vote"] at Allmovie
* [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/swing_vote/ "Swing Vote"] at Rotten Tomatoes
* [http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-8991.html "Swing Vote"] review on PinkNews
* [http://uk.player.playnetworks.net/popup.php?mid=1301&version=2.0&channel_user_id=441100018-1&width=640&height=380&bgcolor=000000 "Official trailer"] from Play Networks
* [http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/missouristatenews/story/D3F053E3CCC0F0D7862574AE001A5E13?OpenDocument Miscast ballots prompt revote in tight contest]

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