Saturday, March 10, 2012

HBO's Sarah Palin Movie "Game Change" Premieres Tonight!

You really don't need to say anything else.  Despise her or adore her, the name "Sarah Palin" still gets plenty of attention, any and all of it very good when you're HBO and you're promoting a TV-movie about the 2008 Presidential campaign.  Based on the 2010 non-fiction book (part of it anyway) of the same name by John Heileman and Mark Halperin, HBO's Game Change chronicles the Republican race to the White House and the quantum shift in interest and controversy that swept the nation when essentially-unknown Alaska governor Sarah Palin was plucked from the tundra to stand beside John McCain as his Vice-Presidential pick.

The always-impressive Ed Harris stars as Senator McCain and Julianne Moore takes on Sarah Palin, and by all early reports both are much more than merely terrific.  By now, nearly four years and an almost infinite amount of stories and publicity and manipulation later, we've probably all made up our minds whether the McCain/Palin political marriage was forged in heaven or hell.  Bottom line is they didn't win the White House, but -- and I think we have to read the whole Game Change book to get a better understanding of the forces at work back then -- no doubt we can probably all agree that the American election system is more circus than it ought to be.  In that sense, Sarah Palin perfectly played the part of the gorgeous bareback pony rider, all prettied up and designed to break hearts and cause swoons in the populace.  That she did, and I know I'm looking forward to perhaps gaining a little more insight from HBO's movie.  Yes, it's only a movie, but guaranteed more people will see this on HBO than will ever read the book, as distressing a thought as that may be.


Co-starring with Harris and Moore are the typically intense (in his own unique fashion) Woody Harrelson, Ron (still our fave from Office Space) Livingston, Peter MacNicol, Sarah Paulson and more. Director Jay Roach loves political movies with a comedy edge; he helmed HBO's Recount and is currently making an election comedy with Oscar co-presenters Will Ferrell and Zach Galafianakis.  The notion of politics being BFF with the absurd is something Roach clearly relishes, and he has great material here in Game Change.

Game Change premieres on HBO tonight at 9pm, with frequent replays; check out the "Schedule" link on the HBO Game Change website for dates and times and more information about the production.  We recommend checking out NPR TV correspondent David Bianculli's report on Game Change here; as always, Bianculli is entertaining and enlightening.

Let us know what you think of the movie!

1 comment:

Jane said...

First of all, once again HBO proves that it is the premier movie making organization on the planet. While the big Hollywood studios pander to teens or kids or 20 something men, HBO is the one of the few that makes intelligent movies that grownups like. I was utterly fascinated by Game Change. I always thought it was horrible that the Sarah Palin debacle nearly ruined the political career of a decent war hero (McCain). I loved the mix of salty language, kindness and tough gravitas that Ed Harris brought to the role. But Julienne Moore was amazing. I actually found myself (for a few brief moments) feeling sorry for Sarah Palin, her performance was so frought. Then I remembered that Ms. Palin was responsible for (what I consider) the demise and dumbing down of the GOP. Palin made it safe and OK for clowns like Rick Perry to be dumber than a bag of bricks and still have a following. Now the endless carnival of anti-science, anti-women, anti college Republican candidates is common place. At the next debate, they may as well discuss how many camels can dance on the head of a pin. Reality and pragmatism flew out the door when Palin came in. And candidates who embrace theocracy are now the norm.
Anyway...this movie was incredible and I smell a truckload of Emmys down the road.