Julianne Moore is in the spotlight as Sarah Palin in the first trailer for the upcoming HBO movie about the 2008 election, but Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris as John McCain hold their own in “Game Change.”
Judging from the trailer, the movie doesn’t look like it pulls any punches in its analysis of the personalities and the issues that shaped an historic election. Since viewers already know the outcome, the story here is in the telling.
Moore looks spot on as then governor of Alaska, who rose from obscurity to come almost a heartbeat away from the presidency as McCain’s vice presidential candidate. The choice of Palin as his running mate appeared at first to be a masterstroke.
The plucky hockey mom energized the Republican base. But she proved to be ill equipped for the job and turned into a loose cannon and a campaign embarrassment. The movie is based on the book by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.
Moore has a tough job capturing Palin’s character without veering into the Saturday Night Live caricature that Tiny Fey made so popular. And it looks like she got Palin’s accent and idiosyncrasies down to a tee.
In an earlier interview, Moore talked about Palin’s brilliance and charisma, while acknowledging that she was clearly in over her head. She seems to understand her character.
Harrelson as campaign adviser Steve Schmidt, who created his Frankenstein monster only to struggle to control her, looks brilliant. The film premieres on March 10th at 9pm on HBO. Check out the trailer below.