Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Thrilling Background


Produced By: HBO Films
Director: Jay Roach
Starring: Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Ed Harris, Sarah Paulson, and others
Pros: Riveting, strong acting, deep coverage
Cons: Black-and-white depiction, quite one-sided
Rating: *** of 5 (3 of 5)

For some reason, you don't see too many political films based on real events, certainly not events in the recent past. This may be because a lot of the main characters are still alive and politics, being the uncertain place that it is, can make it risky to air your dirty laundry in public. Indeed, perhaps director Jay Roach was waiting to see if Barack Obama would actually get a second term before he decided to bring out a side of his first campaign that a lot of people either forgot or would like to forget - the rise and rise of Sarah Palin. Of course, now as one of the early backers of Donald Trump, she has virtually resurrected herself.

Game Change follows the riveting summer and fall of 2008, when global cable TV was beaming the battle between Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain for the US Presidency... and Sarah Palin was somewhat of a side show, as the VP should be. The movie sheds some insight however, based on a book, that she didn't really consider herself a side show and, while McCain certainly did not blame her for his loss, the director presumably does. And that should tell you something - that while the film is supposed to be biographical, do not doubt some of the director's opinions flowing in. The coverage is expansive, going from the early days of the conventions and even a little bit of the primaries, all the way to the November election, but it is very one-sided.

If you believed the movie as gospel truth, Obama could make no mistake, and Sarah Palin was thoroughly uneducated beyond basic reading and writing (and even that was questionable). Of course, that is not the case, but movies are not for facts - the entire media is there for entertainment, and not information, as the movie ironically notes. Nonetheless, it was very entertaining, and the acting was very strong. If you're looking for facts, don't look here, but this certainly has entertainment value. (OTFS)

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