the contender

At times this film sticks to its guns a bit too much. There’s a point to be made, and sometimes its made at the expense of realistic plot (and with a very indulgent Hollywood ending). However, it’s worth seeing for two factors–the first, Joan Allen’s performance as a vice-presidential candidate battling right-wing politicos who have unearthed a sexual secret from her past; and the second for the debate over public and private in a woman’s political life. Dirty deeds, plot twists and back-room Washington games keep this sometimes too earnest film exciting. [us, 2000]