Many of us spent this week glued to TV news feeds, refreshing FiveThirtyEight, or anxiously cycling through politics podcasts (except the Bundler-in-Chief, who thinks pods are for pod people). It's a scientific fact that the human brain can only handle so many pundits' hot takes. However, if you don’t want to tune out of politics completely this weekend – and that could be a big “if” – here are a few movie recommendations to fill the void of cable news.
The Candidate (1972) – Political satire doesn’t always have to have the acidic bite of “Veep” or the apocalyptic madness of Dr. Strangelove. This lighthearted skewering of a long-shot candidate’s outsider tactics to win a nomination makes us nostalgic for the quaintness of Nixon-era politics.
The Birdcage (1996) – Right wing bigotry and homophobia gets a much needed makeover in the Mike Nichols-Elaine May adaptation of La Cage aux Folles. In retrospect, Bob Dole was gorgeous… or at least he had the cojones to call out racism, which would make him a radical progressive in today’s Republican party. Too bad Robin Williams and Nathan Lane never got together for another on screen coupling.
Miss Sloane (2016) – This more recent look at the influence of lobbyists on beltway politics almost seems Capra-esque compared to the development of Trump Inc. in the short span of time after its release. Still, Jessica Chastain remains the most underutilized actress of her generation. We’d watch a movie about her eating toast for two hours.
And if the election results inspire your inner revolutionary to take on something epic…
Reds (1981) – Seriously, it’s worth the time. Just think of it as binging three episodes of House of Cards. And despite his reputation as a playboy, no one has come forward to accuse Warren Beatty of sexual misconduct.
Or if the will of the American voters puts you in the mood for some mindless anarchy…
UHF (1989) – Weird Al 2020!!!!!!!!!!!