Production year 1999
Directed by Alexander Payne
Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta
Starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon
This dark and hilarious satire takes aim at both politics and American high school life. It is directed by Alexander Payne – one of the brightest talents working in independent film. He is best known for Sideways – a bittersweet road movie about two best friends who embark on a wine-tasting expedition just before one of them gets married.
Election was Payne’s second film and stars Matthew Broderick as Jim McAllister, an enthusiastic but frustrated history teacher in a Nebraska high school who comes up against Tracy Flick - an ambitious and vindictive student played by Reese Witherspoon. When Tracy decides to run for student body president Jim encourages another student to run against her and thus begins a chain events that quickly spirals out of control.
Election is a real treat that deserved a wider audience than it got at the time of release. Broderick, who himself played in the classic high school comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, is excellent and Reese Witherspoon makes a scary and resourceful nemesis.