Swing Vote (12A)

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The Independent Culture

Well, it's timely at least. Kevin Costner stars as a shiftless, divorced dad in smalltown New Mexico who wins overnight celebrity when his vote becomes the decider in the US presidential election.

As his wise 12-year-old daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll) looks on horrified, Bud is shamelessly courted by both the Republican incumbent (Kelsey Grammer) and his Democrat rival (Dennis Hopper). Don't laugh: they both look as eligible as Bush. There is a comedy to be made about the selling of a US election and the whole carnival of compromise, but this ain't it. What starts out as a hokey satire on electioneering and spin becomes a hokey lesson on civic responsibility, with a catch in the throat and a tear in the eye. Try to suppress the curl in your lip.