Photo Credit: Courtesy of HBO/YouTube
From the moment that John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate in the 2008 presidential election, pundits everywhere were hashing over that choice. And from the moment that HBO announced its movie Game Change (which aired Saturday night), critics everywhere have been hashing over Julianne Moore taking on the former vice presidential candidate.
Following in the footsteps of Tina Fey, whose impersonation of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live became legendary, Julianne Moore received high marks from TV critics in her more serious portrayal of McCain's infamous running mate. David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times refers to Palin as "entirely inhabited by Julianne Moore." And Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times expresses a similar sentiment. "She conveys the essence," he writes. "In a way, she’s unprotected. Not a hardened, cynical politician, but a woman who has gone through life expecting good things and usually found them."
But of course, Palin is cast in a mostly negative light in this film, which captures the 60 days prior to Election Day in 2008. "There’s no point in trying to argue that Game Change is a "fair" film," writes Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker, who said Palin was "impersonated here with mimicry of the high order" by Moore. Tucker brings up the fact that the film only focuses on a small part of the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin and that "in ignoring the source book’s long sections on Hillary Clinton’s campaign in order to focus on Palin, and by re-creating many of the latter’s greatest gaffes -- her inability in her Katie Couric interview to cite a single newspaper she’s read, for instance -- we are obviously meant to snort and chuckle."
Moore wasn't the only star who took on Sarah Palin this weekend -- Andy Samberg took a crack at impersonating Moore on Saturday Night Live. He rocked Palin's signature red suit without a problem, but that was about as close as he got to fooling viewers that he was the mama grizzly herself -- feast your eyes on his hilarious take here: