The Contender (2000)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA/Germany/United Kingdom, 2000.  Cinerenta Medienbeteiligungs KG, Cinecontender, Battleground Productions, SE8 Group, Battlefield.  Screenplay by Rod Lurie.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Joan Allen is fantastic as a woman chosen to take over for the late Vice-President, then plunged into controversy when a story surfaces that she once participated in a gang-bang in college that someone happened to photograph. Refusing to play the dirty games some politicians play, she offers no comment on the issue, maintaining that her private life is not for public scrutiny. The Conservative zealot assigned to lead her Vice-Presidency appropriation (Gary Oldman) believes otherwise. Compelling drama, with a first-rate script and strong direction. Ignore the slightly overdone final speech by Jeff Bridges as the President; Allen gives the film its meaning and sums it all up beautifully right before he gets around to speaking.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Actress (Joan Allen); Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges)

Golden Globe Award Nominations:  Best Actress-Drama (Joan Allen); Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges)

Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations Best Actress (Joan Allen); Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges); Best Supporting Actor (Gary Oldman)

Toronto International Film Festival:  2000

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