'Game Change': Five craziest scenes in HBO Sarah Palin film
Unless you've been holed up in the Alaskan wilderness for the past year, you've heard about "Game Change," HBO's made-for-TV movie about the rise of Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential election, which premieres Saturday.
Unlike you, however, we here at Show Tracker have already seen the film. Palin herself is reportedly unhappy with the project, with a pro-Palin PAC dubbing it "fact change." HBO, for its part, is on record as saying "Game Change" is a balanced portrayal. The movie is based on a nonfiction bestseller, but as always, dramatic liberties have been taken.
Palin lovers and haters alike will probably find the film more nuanced than they expected, but there's still plenty of over-the-top dramatic moments. For your reference - and to help out in case you miss the film -- we've busted down the two-hour movie to the five scenes most likely to be talked about at the water cooler Monday morning. Hey, you're welcome.
1. On the plane to meet Sen. John McCain for the first time, Palin (Julianne Moore) is so relaxed that top aide Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson) marvels at her composure. She nods and replies, "It's God's plan."
2. Early in the campaign, Schmidt realizes that Palin is going to need a crash course in history and current events if she's to survive the national spotlight. At one point, he pauses in his tutorial and asks if she'd like to take a break. "No way!" Palin says, scribbling on a notepad like an enthusiastic freshman. "This is flippin' awesome!"
3. Under pressure to master talking points from campaign press guru Nicole Wallace (Sarah Paulson), the governor finally cracks and has a meltdown over the phone. "I am not your puppet!" she shrieks. "You have ruined my reputation! I am ruined in Alaska."
4. During practice runs for her vice-presidential debate, Palin keeps referring to her opponent as Joe O'Biden rather than Joe Biden. "Oh, 'Biden,'" Palin says. "You did it again," an exasperated Schmidt says. Her prep team is so worried about the gaffe that they actually applaud when she gets Biden's name right.
5. Toward the end of the campaign, Palin is depicted as a loose cannon, ignoring instructions from advisors and going off-message when the urge strikes her. Her swelling ego has also made her forget about her home state (where she would resign as governor the following year). Pulling McCain (Ed Harris) aside, she whispers conspiratorially: "We have to win this thing -- I so don't wanna go back to Alaska!"
What do you think? Will you watch "Game Change"? Do you think it will be accurate and fair toward Palin?
-Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)
Photo: Ed Harris as John McCain and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in HBO's "Game Change." Credit: Phillip V. Caruso/HBO.