Tuesday, March 13, 2012

HBO's "Game Change"

Yesterday I watched HBO's new film "Game Change" about the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008.

You might be wondering why I would watch something like this....as it was created by liberals and most certainly would be a hit-piece on the 2008 Republican candidates.

I watched it because I am kind of like Michael Corleone. I like to keep an eye on my enemies and know what they are up to. That is why I occasionally watch programs on MSNBC. It is good to know where the next attacks will be coming from.

My one sentence review of the film could be summarized as this:

It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and was more balanced than I had expected.

Yes, of course there were some cheap shots taken at Sarah Palin. There was gratuitous coverage of her being mocked by comedians on television, particularly by Tina Fey. And there were some things that I felt were flat-out untrue. But the problem with this film is that it is based on a book written by people who were too close to the events to remain objective.

People sometimes mis-remember what, exactly, was said or they sometimes overplay or exaggerate how someone reacted to something. It's a matter of subjective personal interpretation. I feel this was one of the real weaknesses of the film. It had a real lack of balanced perspective.

For example, they spend a lot of time bashing Sarah Palin for not being up to speed on world events. But I think some of the scenes were most likely incorrect or just outright false. True, maybe Sarah Palin didn't understand the North/South Korea situation so well, but there is no way that a sitting Governor of a U.S. state would not know what the Federal Reserve was or what it did.

I also think they were extremely unfair as to their characterizations of Palins emotional states. They spend time showing her being moody, petulant and uncooperative. They also assign her some diva-like qualities that I feel were probably unfair and mis-characterizations.

Regardless of the content of the film, I have to give proper credit to the performers. Julianne Moore does a fantastic job of playing Sarah Palin. She might win an Emmy for this. She really gets her accent and cadences down pat. Ed Harris also is really good at playing McCain. And even though I am not a fan of Woody Harrelson, he might have had the strongest performance in the film.

Overall, even though the movie was unbalanced in its negative views of the candidates, they did actually show some positive things about them. They spent time showing Sarahs powerful charisma and how she fired up the base of the party. They showed McCain being a statesman and refusing to get into the gutter in his campaign attacks on Obama.

My favorite moment in the movie is when McCain is getting ready to go out and give his concession speech. He says to Sarah.."You're one of the leaders of the party now, Sarah."

I also liked how at the end of his concession speech the crowd started chanting "Sarah! Sarah!" in anticipation of the Palin 2012 campaign that never materialized.

That part, I found to be very realistic.