I think we can all agree that we are ready for this election year to be completed as it has been one of the longest, most drawn out campaigns in history. And yes, even “Veep” has nothing on the story-lines that have have come out of this campaign.
This week, take a break from the constant coverage on your favorite cable news network, to listen to our “Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing” Podcast on reVolver Podcasts, and join us for a discussion of some of the best political films in history with their perfect pairings, from stellar sparklers from Eileen Crane and Domaine Carneros to the Grande Dame Veuve Clicquot Vintage Brut Rose from Madame Clicqout for a Hillary win, or Trump bubbles if he does.
And, please, celebrate your right as an American and vote on Tuesday! Even if you don’t like any candidate running, write in #YodaForPresident, and raise a glass to those who came before you who worked tirelessly to ensure that you have the right to vote.
For now, though, listen to the show by clicking here and select “Episode 20,” or tune in on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play Music. More on the films from Gary below.
Now what will CNN & Fox News have to talk about after next week?
Please vote, it’s a right, a privilege, and your one vote in the upcoming election is as important as any single vote in America.
It’s also the wildest election year in memory and has me thinking about some of the best political movies ever made. I am a fan of cinematic politics and yes the abuse of power in “Citizen Kane,” is as good as it gets. Here are some of the films that challenged me, made me think, and still work wonders on the big screen.
“All The President’s Men (1976),” is everything you want in a political thriller, expertly written by William Goldman, tightly directed by Alan J. Pakula, and filled with great actors doing some of their finest ensemble work. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman play the real life investigative journalists Woodward and Bernstein. A benchmark movie about the abuse of power on the highest level.
I smile every time I think about watching Jimmy Stewart sweating and slurring his speech during his Senate fillibuster in the Frank Capra directed classic, “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.” This is the movie that made the lanky, Jimmy Stewart, a movie star and the film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards in the finest movie year on record.
Presidential romance is on full display in “The American President,” (1995) starring Michael Douglas as a POTUS widower dating a loyal lobbyist played by, Annette Bening. The scene of their first date during a state dinner is one of my favorites directed by Rob Reiner (Stand By Me, A Few Good Men, This Is Spinal Tap) and written by Aaron Sorkin (West Wing, A Few Good Men, The Social Network). Not all good political movies are simply about politics.
Yes, “Primary Colors” (1998) is about Bill Clinton running for President without ever mentioning Bill Clinton. John Travolta and Emma Thompson play the soon to be first couple with perfection in a multi faceted piece of work directed by Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?). This is what happens when great directors get their hands on complicated material that is both smart and funny.
I spent some time with director Oliver Stone in Dallas back in 1991 during the making of “JFK” and when I finally saw his film, I said, “Oh, that’s what he was doing.” Always the agitator, Stone tried to include as many theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination as possible and the result was a three hour mind bender starring Kevin Costner and Texas actor, Tommy Lee Jones. “JFK” was one of Stone’s biggest hits at the box office and I’m convinced Stone doesn’t believe half of his town theories.
When Rod Lurie wrote and directed, “The Contender,” (2000) starring Joan Allen as the first female Vice President, I was jealous. It’s a terrific film and Rod was a film critic colleague of mine who made the leap from talking about films to actually making films. A jump I would make years later. Jeff Bridges and Joan Allen were both nominated for Oscars and “The Contender” remains a thoughtful, inside look at both dirty and moral politics.”