The Last Campaign

"Good"

The Last Campaign Review


Not many documentarians aside from Michael Apted get an opportunity like this. In 1972, Wayne Ewing made a documentary (If Elected...) about an upstart state senator from West Virginia named Warren McGraw, who was running for the first time for elected office. The southern firecracker never missed an opportunity to spew vitriol, and McGraw dutifully captured his angst and emotion as he scraped out a victory.

In 2004, Ewing caught up with McGraw again. Now a justice in the state Supreme Court, McGraw found himself besieged by Republican attack ads, funded by big money to the tune of several million dollars. McGraw could barely keep up, kept his campaign as positive as possible, but ultimately didn't pull through. Ewing captures the same set of events -- the primary (which he wins) and the election (which he loses), and shows us exactly how modern politics has changed over the last 30 years, entirely for the worse.

Older and tired, McGraw states that win or lose, this is his last campaign. It's easy to see why. He's surrounded by well-meaning family and friends, but no one can stem the crush of negative campaigning that assaults him at every turn. (In this particular election, more money was allegedly spent than in any other judiciary election in American history.) Everything comes to a head when a particular case that McGraw was involved in -- involving a young boy who molested even younger children -- was set free from prison. It appears to be the singular event that kills McGraw's hopes for victory, and yet both sides appear to contort and exaggerate the details of the case. (And yes, even I am too lazy to look it up myself.)

Ewing's film is insightful and unique, cutting between the present and excerpts from his 1972 movie to show us how things have changed. Sometimes it's hard to believe that these are the same person. What isn't hard to believe is how unbearable politics has become, and how demoralizing the whole process is. Ewing captures this all with aplomb -- though numerous crowd scenes are nearly inaudible and the film lacks substantial background needed to get a non-West Virginian up to speed. But perhaps best of all is the way The Last Campaign serves as a bookend, chronicling for the end of one man's career.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 17th April 2013

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene...

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) reteams with Tilda Swinton for this fresh, tricky...

Deadpool Movie Review

Deadpool Movie Review

Both the filmmakers and the characters on-screen are so pleased with themselves that this might...

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

Advertisement
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.