No one is laughing now,as the movie based on Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s,book,“Game Change: Obama and the Clintons,McCain and Palin,and the Race of a Lifetime,” made a blue carpet debut Thursday in Washington.
“The whole 2008 campaign was stranger than fiction,” Heilemann said. “They’d say this is absurd,it can’t be true.”
The movie has been getting good reviews and intense criticism. The adaptation focuses on Sarah Palin’s vice-presidential bid. Her supporters have discredited the film,saying it’s an not accurate picture of the former Alaska governor.
Julianne Moore,who’s been getting good reviews of her portrayal of Palin,said the main focus of the movie is not her character.
“This movie is not as much about Sarah Palin as it is about our political process,how we choose our leaders,” Moore said at the premiere.
The four-time Academy Award nominee said it is not important to choose candidates who are “charismatic and attractive.”
“And why do we think those attributes are necessary for a leader is beyond me,obviously they’re not,” Moore said.
“What was so surprising to me about that video was that everything in that video is in our movie. So literally every single moment they have that they’re saying that the real story was we portrayed that story,and it’s a very important part of the story,” Strong said.
This is his second political screenplay. He also wrote “Recount,” the HBO movie about the 2000 Florida presidential election.
His main source for “Game Change” was Steve Schmidt,played by Woody Harrelson. Strong said Schmidt told him the film is completely accurate. The screenwriter called the contradiction between Schmidt’s opinion and Palin’s “the gray area of politics.”
Strong worked with Jay Roach,the “Recount” director. Roach said he wanted to put the audience in the shoes of characters under extreme pressure. He said the urgency of people making decisions with cameras glued to them gives politics a reality show quality.
Although some critics say he was too tough on Palin,Strong said Palin has had an “amazing” life for someone who was virtually unknown in 2008 and is now the subject of two documentaries and a movie.
What would he tell Palin if he had a chance to meet her?
“I would congratulate her,” Strong said.
The movie will air on HBO Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.
Reach reporter Robin Siteneski at [email protected] or 202-326-9868. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.