This list will be of no real interest to anybody else but it helps me keep an easier track of…
Politics would never be the same.
Based on the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, Game Change focuses on the Republican run of the 2008 Presidential election, when candidate John McCain picks a relative unknown, Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, to be his running mate. As the campaign kicks into high gear, her lack of experience, in both political and media savvy, becomes a drain upon McCain and his strategists. Directed by Jay Roach, who previously directed the HBO film Recount and the Austin Powers movies, Game Change premiered on HBO on March 10th, 2012.
HBO have a good track record of producing political drama. The TV movie, Recount, about the Florida electoral recounts during the 2000 elections was gripping television so I was intrigued to see how they would tackle the McCain-Palin campaign of 2008. Sadly, Game Change can’t match their earlier efforts with some of the problems coming from the film’s execution and some from the audience’s prior knowledge.
It is a handsomely produced film with strong performances across the board and a clever blending of fact and fiction. Julianne Moore’s uncanny portrayal of Pailin is naturally getting the headlines but it is Woody Harrelson as the campaign strategist that really steals the film. My issues with the film are that Palin is…
American politics is a crazy business. At the moment, you can barely make it through the day without hearing that one of the two leading candidates for the presidency of the free World thinks we should be able to open the windows on aeroplanes or that a candidate for the US Senate thinks that pregnancies that occur as a result of a rape are an “act of God”. In most forward-thinking countries, such people would be laughed out of town before they even had a chance to inflict untold damage and misery on the populace. Yet, in the United States both of these men – and many more like them – look set to take the reins of power…
It's probably fair to say I've only had a passing interest in US politics in recent years and am largely uninformed of the intricacies of presidential campaigns. Obviously, the historic dimension of the 2008 appointment of Barack Obama wasn't lost on me and I do recall the furore surrounding Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running partner - Governor Sarah Palin.
However, most of my insight was gleaned from the popular spoof of her various faux pais by comedian Tina Fey on TV show 'Saturday Night Live' which rather pleasingly find their way into this film. This comedic element hints at the more personable and less stuffy approach director Jay Roach and HBO have taken with the material.
Based on a…
Ooh this was painful to watch.
Surprisingly though not entirely for the reasons you might think.
What we see in Game change is the story of a man who is desperate to do well by his candidate. He has a prospectively brilliant idea and cuts corners to make it happen.
Then the corners start reappearing and screwing things up for him in the guise of a well-intentioned but not well-educated hockey-mom.
I didn't know much about the McCain/Palin campaign at the time beyond Youtube/Facebook/Twitter declaring 'dumb republicans are dumb' (a message I'd already heard plenty of during the Bush Jr administration).
What is impressive here is that they don't take the easy way out by declaring the same.
An interesting and dramatised look at the "Hail Mary" tactic used by a doomed political campaign, and the wider implications that it can have long after the polls have closed and the votes counted.
Game Change shows us why the system matters, and why diplomacy, democracy and consensus always trumps the individual will and ego of one particular political identity, regardless of the current political popularity.
Sarah Palin's rogue and unqualified nature are magnificently captured by Julianne Moore, and Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris, along with a great cast of supports, perfectly play out the circus that was the 2008 GOP Presidential election.
This film was both embarrassing and enthralling in equal measure, and is almost... almost as good as watching the real thing play out!
“Oh my God, what have we done?”
Luckily, Game change, a story of an Alaskan senator’s meteoric rise and fall, shies away from an easy path of voyeurism or ridicule. Its portrayal of Sarah Palin as someone well-intentioned but over her head (and a half) is humane, at times almost touching – although McCain came across as too saintly for my liking.
It’s interesting to realize this HBO movie was directed by Jay Roach, whose other works – Meet the parents, Austin Powers, and the recent The campaign – exhibit very little of the fairness and warmth on display here. Game change seems much better than Roach’s theatrical releases, even though he can be caught aping Sorkin and the hypercleverness…
"God Bless America"
Revelatory, dramatic telling of John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008 and his choice to make Sarah Palin as his running mate for Vice President.
What unfolds is at first a delightfully exciting campaign race that leads into a complete meditation on modern politics in the United States and how (very) flawed individuals deal with such pressure.
Feels disturbingly credible from start to finish-the HBO production gives the viewer the impression that almost all the important decisions were made behind closed doors, that McCain never really met with Palin, and that his team figured out far too late just how unprepared she was.
All three leads give incredible performances: Julianne Moore is spot on as Palin(even better than…
Another incredibly rewatchable film from Jay Roach and Danny Strong. Julianne Moore's performance is one of the best of the decade to date.
What a fascinating look at the 2008 presidential campaign! I'm not sure how accurate everything is, but it's a great story and Julianne Moore is truly amazing as Sarah Palin.
Notes: Some of the best casting I've ever seen. If 50% of this is true, it's absolutely insane, let alone the whole story being true.
Even though Tina Fey is largely regarded as the queen of the Sarah Palin impression, Julianne Moore does an excellent job bringing this truly interesting political figure to life. The story is much more riveting than is portrayed on SNL. It's equally interesting to see the story of the 2008 election captured in film, but not through the eyes of Barack Obama.
La primera vez que ves en pantalla al personaje de Sarah Palin dices «Hostia, Julianne Moore»... A medida que va pasando la película, la actriz desaparece y es imposible ver nada más que el personaje. Adoro a esta mujer maravillosa (me refiero a Moore, por supuesto) y me atrevería a decir que en muy contadas ocasiones la he visto más convincente en su interpretación (y tiene un puñado de ellas que son de altura).
Pues muy bien: todos los actores genial, es de una veracidad aplastante aunque no vayas a ver nada que te cambie la vida. Interesante.
A great retelling of the political debacle of picking Sarah Palin as VP. This movie made me feel bad for the people that had to take care of Palin. I do wish they would have shown more from the Obama campaign.
Helluva performance from Moore. Manages to make a person who was sort of always a caricature in the public eye into a human being.
What a great cast.
List of the collection of films I have on my 2TB external harddrive.
2012 was a great year for cinema with lots of exciting and memorable films. Here's my ranking of all 2012…