Sunday, March 25, 2012

Game Change

Although I dont have HBO, Game Change was pretty easy to find online and I'm glad that I did seek it out: it's a superior TV drama about John McCain's election campaign for President and the decision his campaign manager Steve Schmidt took to put Sarah Palin on the ticket. Palin and her surrogates have been complaining about Game Change non stop for about two weeks now but the lady doth protest too much. The film is a sympathetic portrait of a woman who loves her family, is an able local politician, has tons of charisma but is just completely out of her depth on the national stage. The acting in Game Change has been rightly praised. Woody Harrelson's performance as Schmidt is the best thing he's done since he played Sergeant Keck in The Thin Red Line and Julianne Moore inhabits Sarah Palin without parody and with such compassion that Meryl Streep's Mrs T is knocked into a cocked hat in comparison. I was less convinced by Ed Harris's John McCain but its tough playing someone so fundamentally decent. Game Change is paced perfectly and as entertainment it is utterly compelling. If you're looking for a movie with easy villains and a damning indictment of the political process you won't find it here. This is a nuanced, sober account of a bizarre moment in US history when a woman with virtually no knowledge at all of the world almost got to within a heartbeat of the Presidency. If you do have HBO I'd recommend that you watch this and if you don't it's worth looking for on the web.