Photo Credit: Courtesy HBO/youtube.com
It takes a lot of courage for an actor to accept the tough task of portraying a living person. Even gutsier was Julianne Moore's decision to take on the role of Sarah Palin in the upcoming HBO film, Game Change (premieres Saturday, March 10, at 9 p.m. ET). Why? Because Palin remains a highly prominent presence in American politics. After the credits roll, HBO viewers could very easily switch over to their network news and catch the real Sarah weighing in on various issues of the day. Moore had to nail it -- and it seems that she did! Watch the trailer below:
By the looks of this trailer, it seems Moore was more than up for the challenge. She looks the part, of course. (Her Palin look is not as dead-on as Tina Fey's, but those two naturally look more alike). More importantly, though, Moore's accent is right on. "We have to win this thing," she tells campaign strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson). "I so don't want to go back to Alaska." The down-home twang is signature Palin.
The film, which chronicles the ups and downs of John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign from the time that Palin joins the ticket, portrays the vice presidential nominee in the familiar light of an uninformed but charismatic presence. The story begins with Schmidt's pitch to change the game for McCain (Ed Harris) by making the out-of-the-box choice of Palin as his VP.
"We live in the age of YouTube and the 24-hour news cycle. How else do you think a man who has no major life accomplishments is beating an American hero?," says Harrelson-as-Schmidt. "You need to create a dynamic moment in this campaign or we're dead. If you're going to seriously consider the governor of Alaska, you need to call her now."
As we all know, she does, indeed, change the game for McCain (though not the way he'd hoped). But it's still enormously interesting to get an inside view of how the campaign processed the effects of joining forces with this live wire.
In one scene, she's shown making the now-famous comment about being able to see Russia from her house. "Oh my god, what have we done?" gasps Schmidt, and you can see why this true story is so appealing to dramatists. You can't make this stuff up.
Well, OK, the part where Palin is seen curled up on the floor in her robe might be made up. But Moore makes even that scene believable. Once again, she's proven that a good actress can embody anyone -- even someone just a few channels away.