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Reading, Writing, Revenge.  

Year: 1999 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Election

It’s election time in a normal democratised American high school. Set entirely in the narrow, and essentially irrelevant race for leadership of the Student governing body, the film exudes witty observations on politics and personal motivations. Tracy Flick (Witherspoon) is the overly ambitious Miss Perfect, who, as is mandatory in all such films, hides a sordid secret beneath her golden locks. As the next step up the ladder of success Miss Flick stands for the role of President of the student masses, almost guaranteed success by the lack of competition; there is none. Sickened by her Cesarite tendencies the morality and citizenship teacher, Jim McAllister (Broderick), decides it is time for the girl to taste the bitter juices of failure.

Enter the other combatants and let the fun begin. Paul Metzler (Klien) is your typical American jock, dumb but popular, whom McAllistar convinces to stand. He is followed by the late entry of his lesbian sister, Tammy (Her motivation? Revenge, pure and simple, after her ex-lover seduced her dumb jock of a brother, what further motivation is needed. Who will win? How far will Jim go, and how much will he lose, to stop Flick?

This film is a superb satire of modern day politics, with a multitude of twists and turns that shows the dark and sinister underside of High School life as well as that of the outside world. For all the characters in this film are certainly lifelike and believable. The puppets on this political stage are magnificently cast. Reese is truly believable as Flick, and you cannot help sympathising with her. It fact you feel that each and every candidate for the presidency has positive attributes. Paul, the injured jock, is stupid but and gets everywhere on his good looks though he is the only innocent and honest candidate. Then there is the feisty lesbian who gains our respect for challenging the meaningless of the entire election. A bit of me wanted every one of them to win. Though, for me the star of the film was not Witherspoon but the American Pie actor, Klien, He portrayed, with immense style, the cognitively challenged rich quarterback.

Overall the film is based on the traditional twin pillars of Sex and Revenge, both of which flow lucidly through every character in the film. Full of ironic twists and stunningly funny scenes, there is no doubt that this is the teen film that floors the opposition and castrates them when they’re down.

Richard Bray

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Screenings of this film:

1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)
2006/2007 Autumn Term (35mm)