To the surprise of absolutely no one, many of the people who are portrayed in HBO’s Game Change are none too thrilled with the political drama based off John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s page-turning bestseller. Especially not former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Palin, who is played by Oscar-nominee Julianne Moore (pictured) in the HBO movie, is reportedly portrayed as unstable, unprepared and ill-informed on world affairs and basic world history. Of course, by Palin’s account she’ll never actually see it to find out if that’s true. The former Alaskan governor told Fox News last week that she is not going to see the movie (which chronicles her entry into the 2008 Presidential campaign with John McCain at the hand of campaign strategist Steve Schmidt, played by Woody Harrelson) and noted that neither is “the good Senator John McCain.”
While McCain stated back in March that he wouldn’t be tuning in for the film, he called Oscar nominee Ed Harris, who plays him in the film, “a great actor” during a chat with Fox News and noted “I’ve been made very aware about its depiction of me, and it is what it is.” McCain’s wife Cindy McCain had a different outlook, however, telling CNN‘s Piers Morgan, “Ed Harris is not nearly as cute my husband.”
“Hollywood lies are Hollywood lies,” Palin continued to say about Game Change, which is directed by Jay Roach and adapted by his Recount collaborator Danny Strong, “[To] drum up their money and their machine and their machine happens to be very pro-leftist, pro-Barack Obama… there at HBO.” Palin, who called the movie a “false narrative” also noted that the campaign staffers who contributed to revealing behind-the-scenes tidbits for Game Change should feel “shame and… embarrassment.”
Palin’s PAC is banging the drum of Game Change fiction as well. On their official website, the political action committee calls the film “historical fiction” and is crying for HBO to put a “fiction disclaimer” before the film airs on the cable channel this Saturday.
The PAC claims, “HBO and its surrogates continue to argue that they spoke to 25 sources. None of them are on the record nor is their level of involvement in the campaign disclosed. Not one source is on the record in either the book or in the movie and it is clear why.” The PAC released its own counter trailer for an ad called “Game Change We Can Believe In”, which features footage of Moore’s performance as Palin in the movie. Watch it here (and watch out for that bear!).
During her interview on Piers Morgan Tonight, Cindy McCain echoed the sentiment by telling Morgan and viewers, “I lived this, and from everything I’ve read and heard it doesn’t even resemble what took place. I can go to Disneyland for fiction.” McCain also said the representation of Palin “is totally unfair. I am truly sorry if they have depicted her in any fashion other than a strong, independent woman.”
But here’s what could surprise Palin and McCain’s camps most of all: It might not be nearly as bad as they’re imagining. The Los Angeles Times describes Game Change as a “surprisingly kind film about Sarah Palin,” EW’s Ken Tucker found that it is “tougher on McCain than it is on Palin” and NPR argues that the movie actually goes too easy on the overnight-political-powerhouse-turned-reality star. Or as they put it (to Fox News), Game Change is “fair — and balanced.”
Game Change airs at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Will you be tuning in, PopWatchers? Is it going to be possible for anyone to watch this with a nonpartisan mindset or do you think the movie will actually make people re-think what they thought knew about the 2008 election? Share in the comments section below.