Yesterday morning Reese Witherspoon spoke to a crowd at the Producers Guild of America’s 7th annual “Produced By” conference on the Paramount lot. Variety‘s Dave McNary reports that Witherspoon “addressed the question of whether she’d ever portray Hillary Clinton. She responded by saying that she’s been asked to do so several times and wryly pointed out that she portrayed a young version of Clinton as Tracy Flick in 1998’s Election.” The actress-producer added that when she met the former Secretary of State and current presidential candidate, Clinton said, “Everybody talks to me about Tracy Flick in Election.” One, I’ve seen Election six or seven times and have never flashed upon any similarities between Flick and Clinton. If Flick reminds me of any politician it’s Richard Nixon. (I’ve also always suspected that on some level Flick is Witherspoon.) And two, take away Alexander Payne‘s satiric, dryly humorous attitude and Tracy Flick is a virus — one of the most screwed-down, demonically calculating female characters in the history of American cinema. Clinton/Flick is almost like Clinton/Cruella de Vil or Clinton/Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity. Obviously not flattering, and yet Clinton good-naturedly went up to Witherspoon and more or less said, “So I was the inspiration for Tracy Flick, eh? Imagine!”
Speaking of Clinton and the movies, I’m presuming that that James Ponsoldt bailed on directing Rodham, which was described a couple of years ago as a more-or-less go project. Here’s my March 2013 review of Young-il Kim’s script.