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Swing Vote


Stars: Kevin Costner, Paula Patton, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci

Director: Joshua Michael Stern

A glutinously sentimental sub-Capra parable, notable for the performance of newcomer Madeline Carroll, as the precocious, independent, 11-year-old daughter of redneck slob Bud (Costner), who suddenly finds himself thrust into the national spotlight as the man whose single vote will decide the next President of the United States.

Actually, Bud's a fraud. His daughter tried to vote for him while he was passed out in his truck, and would have succeeded had not a cleaner accidentally pulled the plug on the voting station. But, before he knows it, Bud is being courted by both candidates (Grammer, Hopper) and their respective agents (Tucci, Lane).

Irony here is laid on with a heavy hand, as Bud's slightest utterance is the cue for the candidates to make outrageous promises. And there's a would-be lachrymose climax as Bud's daughter persuades him to read letters from ordinary Americans before he questions Hopper and Grammer in a final debate.

Grammer has fakery down to a fine art, and little Carroll is a talent to watch, Let's hope she doesn't follow Dakota Fanning and seemingly vanish into obscurity.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Delanic Films. Technicolor/Colour by deluxe.
120 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 23 Sep 2008