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.

McAleese closes Biloela depot, shuttle run

McAleese Biloela manager Mick Watson outside the soon to be closed Biloela depot.

Embattled transport company closes regional offices.

Biloela man pleads guilty after Kariboe St lie-down

The man pleaded guilty to charges of committing a public nuisance and obstructing a police officer.

Man pleads guilty to public nuisance, obstructing a police officer.

$1200 fine for Thangool man caught with marijuana plants

A generic photo of marijuana plants.

A Biloela woman also pleaded guilty to possession of an ice pipe.

Local Partners

Callide Dam gates pass safety test

SunWater says "everything went to plan" and the release was around 30 megalitres as expected.

Aviators ready for Thangool Fly-In

The Thangool Fly-In will feature displays and flights across the long weekend.

Three-day event expected to attract up to 80 planes.

McAleese closes Biloela depot, shuttle run

McAleese Biloela manager Mick Watson outside the soon to be closed Biloela depot.

Embattled transport company closes regional offices.

Biloela man pleads guilty after Kariboe St lie-down

The man pleaded guilty to charges of committing a public nuisance and obstructing a police officer.

Man pleads guilty to public nuisance, obstructing a police officer.

$1200 fine for Thangool man caught with marijuana plants

A generic photo of marijuana plants.

A Biloela woman also pleaded guilty to possession of an ice pipe.

SunWater to test Callide Dam gates

Callide Dam, May 2015 Photo Emma Clarke / Central Telegraph

Callide Dam will release 30 megalitres of water on Wednesday.

Cattle judging draws crowds at Moura Coal & Country Festival

Grand Champion Bull, Kenrol Jesseppi 2736 (left), exhibited by Kenrol Brahman Stud.

Kenrol Brahman Stud won Most Successful Exhibitor.

Magpie swooping season underway

Adam Burling is getting used to being swooped on his morning ride.

September is the breeding birds' peak swooping month.

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Jason Dundas ready for X Factor debut

The X Factor host Jason Dundas.

NEW season of reality singing show features new host and judges.

What's on the small screen this week

The X Factor judges Adam Lambert, Iggy Azalea and Guy Sebastian.

A WAVE of new shows will launch after the footy finals.

Britney Spears smoked cannabis as a teenager

Britney Spears

Britney Spears experimented with cannabis when she was 17.

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.