Game Change, based on the novel of the same name, is an HBO production concerning the events around the choosing of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate in the 2008 Presidential election.
Using a first rate script, director Jay Roach keeps things moving, telling the tale of one of the major faux paux of recent memory. McCain didn't really think he'd win the Republican nomination and unrealistically and true to his maverick nature, had thought he'd shake things up by having a Democrat, Joe Lieberman (who was Al Gore's running mate against Dubya) be VP candidate. After being told there was no chance of winning with such a concept, he asked his campaign manager, Steve Schmidt (wonderfully portrayed by Woody Harrelson) to come up with a "game changer". Harrelson, after seeing Obama achieve near rock star status during a speech in Berlin, figures the only way to equal the playing field is by choosing a woman running mate. Only problem is that there were woefully few choices on the Republican side of the aisle; until he caught a video of a Palin speech.
Unfortunately, the clock was running so the party didn't really have enough time to research their potential candidate, and after the nomination was announced, it was too late to turn back.
Julianne Moore is scary good as Palin; not only looking the part, but fully embodying the cheerleader brat who knows how to connive her way through things, but becomes a petulant child when things don't go her way. In typical fashion she ignores all the advice regarding the idea that perhaps her foreign affairs education is somewhat lacking, and then, after she tanks the Katy Courik interview, blames press secretary Sarah Poulson for not properly preparing her!
I could go on and on about Ms. Palin's escapades, but that's something you should enjoy for yourself. Suffice it to say she comes across as a self absorbed megalomaniac, who latches on to the right wing demogodery and actually believes she is qualified, and in fact perfect for the job, not only of VP, but eventual president - and this is a person who believes that the Queen of England actually holds political power in the UK and has no idea that a Prime Minister even exists - which means that the accomplishments of fellow female Maggie Thatcher were totally under her miniscule radar!
But enough about the media created creature that is Palin. I should be talking up the film, which has wonderful performances throughout. As I've mentioned Woody and Moore are terrific, and Ed Harris is fantastic as McCain; as is Michelle Wallace as Sarah Poulson, who utters perhaps the best line of the film; on election night, as it becomes apparent that McCain will be defeated, and all their hard work will come to naught, Poulson confides to Woody - "this is so sad, I couldn't even vote"; meaning that she thought so little of Palin that she couldn't even caste a vote for the party she had devoted so much time to.
As usual, HBO has delivered yet another sterling historical biopic piece - after watching this, it's no wonder that Ms Palin is pissed off about how she was portrayed - but like everything else about her, there's just too much that is common knowledge for you to be taken in by her rhetoric.