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The Film List Project #12: Election

New year, new blog post date: Starting next week, I'll be posing my blog on Fridays instead of Thursdays. Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.

On this first day of the year, a flood of new programming came to Netflix. Amongst the hours of entertainment was Alexander Payne's 1999 film Election.

This is one I've wanted to watch for a while. I've read and heard a lot about it over the last couple of years, so I jumped at the chance to watch it. I loved it!

The movie revolves around that one girl everyone went to high school with (who could have easily been a guy at your high school): Tracy Flick. The overachiever. The star student. The member of every club. The girl who gets up early to bake cupcakes in order to win SGA president.

It was really interesting to see Reese Witherspoon play Tracy, someone who's completely in control (or pretends to be) after I just saw her play Cheryl Strayed, someone who's trying to take control of her life, in Wild. Both are really interesting, though completely different, characters, and she does justice to both. When I see a Reese Witherspoon movie I like, I really like it.

I'm excited that I'm discovering the work of Alexander Payne. I saw Nebraska last year, and it was one of my favorite films of the year. I went back and watched The Descendants and fell in love with his incredibly human characters. The characters in Election are all searching to fill a hole in their life and will do anything to fill it. Their desperation makes them both frightening and relatable.

I think a lot of movies about teens (especially from the 90s) depict characters who don't have any real flaws and search solely for relationships and petty high school titles. This film plays off that beautifully, taking the idea that high school titles are everything to high school students and actually making them life-changing.

There's also a scene where Tracy falls of a trash can she was standing on and it reminded me of the time I fell off a folding chair I was standing at Reese Witherspoon's alma mater. I was in a gym full of people. They laughed. This is one of the many reasons my name is not Grace.

Well, I'd love to stay and chat, but they also put the entirety of Friends on Netflix today. I'll see y'all in a year or two.

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