Entertainment

Palin TV film gets positive reviews

Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in TV movie Game Change.
Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in TV movie Game Change.

SHE'S back.

Not, as Sarah Palin's still substantial band of believers would have wished it, as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination - but as star of a television drama recreating her party's 2008 election campaign that turned her into the most famous female politician in America.

HBO's Game Change, based on part of the best-selling book of the same name by reporters Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, aired on Saturday.

Its veracity may be questioned, but not the fact that the 10 weeks between her surprise choice as running mate by John McCain and the election were a real-life political melodrama beside which the current contest for the 2012 Republican nomination pales.

Mitt Romney may have further trouble in Kansas caucuses and Tuesday's primaries in the deep south states of Alabama and Mississippi, as he plods towards a triumph that seems as inevitable as it is unthrilling for the party's conservative base.

Not so Palin in her meteoric flight across the political firmament in autumn 2008.

Film and television recreations of real politicians have a mixed track record.

John Brolin's portrayal of George Bush Jnr in W was much praised, as was John Travolta's thinly-disguised Bill Clinton in Primary Colors, Meryl Streep's Oscar-winning rendering of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady is simply brilliant.

Others, less successful, simply do not ring true.

Game Change, if the reviews are any guide, most definitely falls into the first category.

No one emerges from it with much credit - not Mr McCain, solidly played by Ed Harris, nor Steve Schmidt, his campaign manager played by Woody Harrelson, and certainly not the lady herself.

Julianne Moore's Palin comes across as a figure of stupendous ignorance, a capricious and self-promoting diva - oblivious to the distinction between fact and fiction.

Inevitably, the Palin camp has taken umbrage, describing Game Change as utter fiction.

SarahPAC, her official Political Action Committee, has even released a short video entitled Game Change We Can Believe In, purporting to set the record straight.

Mr Schmidt however, who has seen a preview, describes it as an "out-of-body experience".

In other words, that it's spot on.

What is indisputable is that Ms Palin was summoned to the colours to give the Republican campaign a jolt of excitement to counter the Obama phenomenon.

"This is a woman with a gun," says a McCain aide in Game Change, "the base is going to be doing backflips."

And so for a while it proved.

Ms Palin was an initial sensation, drawing crowds and media coverage that eclipsed Mr McCain's.

Gradually though, the operatives realise the calamity they have unleashed by persuading Mr McCain to put Ms Palin on the ticket.

The disastrous CBS interview with Katie Couric first pricked the bubble.

Then the stories emerged about the Palin wardrobe, the Palin wilfulness, and the tensions within the campaign caused by her.

Today, Ms Palin inhabits that bizarre universe, part politics, part showbiz, occupied by the likes of Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh.

But even now, Mitt Romney would give his eye teeth for a quarter of her drawing power.

Topics:  hbo


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Panthers cubs have strong future

The Biloela Panthers U10 rugby league side.Photo: Contributed.

The Biloela Panthers' junior sides are in top form.

Biloela dry cleaner close to shutting doors

Owner Tony Pickering outside the Biloela Dry Cleaners & Laundry Service. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Another local business is battling to stay open.

Thangool Fly-In pushed back to October

A plane takes off from Thangool Airport earlier this year. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Rain forced cancellation of event proposed for last weekend.

Latest deals and offers

JBOYS splashes out with launch

The outback youth charity aims to honour the memory of Jimmy Bryant.

Panthers cubs have strong future

The Biloela Panthers U10 rugby league side.Photo: Contributed.

The Biloela Panthers' junior sides are in top form.

Biloela dry cleaner close to shutting doors

Owner Tony Pickering outside the Biloela Dry Cleaners & Laundry Service. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Another local business is battling to stay open.

Thangool Fly-In pushed back to October

A plane takes off from Thangool Airport earlier this year. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Rain forced cancellation of event proposed for last weekend.

No serious damage after July downpour slammed Shire

Roads were closed due to flooding throughout Central Queensland over the weekend. Photo: Central Highlands Regional Council.

Bizarre July rainfall highest in decades.

Graziers' mixed reception for July rainfall

Josh (left) and Leticia Abell on the cattle property Triangle they run, north of Banana. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Deluge could help or hinder depending on conditions.

Babylon 5's Jerry Doyle has died

Jerry Doyle has died from unknown causes at the age of 60

Mum driver heroically ignores hilarious lip-syncing son

Hilarious moves while Mum concentrates on the road.

IF IT takes a village to raise a child, why aren't they driving?

Twitter adds dancing David Brent emoji

Ricky Gervais's character has its own emoji now

Cyndi Lauper opens up about mother's dementia

Cyndi Lauper says her mother Catrine has "a little dementia".

Lindsay Lohan 'calls off engagement'

Lohan reportedly called off her engagement to Russian millionaire

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles