Monday, March 12, 2012
It's gotten a lot of criticism from the right because they feel it deliberately tries to make Palin look "dumb." And it does in some scenes. It also tries to make her look a little out of it at times and selfish at times. All of which I think you could already deduce from watching her in interviews when she was running for v.p.
What it misses for my money, and by a long shot, is Palin's star charisma. Ed Harris plays McCain and as usually happens in movies about real people Harris's movie star charisma shines much brighter than McCain's politician charisma. And Woody Harrelson as McCain's man in charge, to a degree, of Palin also displays his movie star charisma that outshines the real life person he's portraying. And in both instances Harris and Harrelson also give great performances.
But Julianne Moore as Palin approximates some of her looks and style and speaking voice, but also misses a lot of those things, and totally fails to recreate what made and makes Palin such a successful crowd pleaser and media star no matter what you think of her politics or character, that incredible movie star charisma. Moore comes across dowdier, nowhere near as sexy or physically attractive, and less foxy in both senses of that word. She seems almost doltish.
I hate it when people in the center or on the left denigrate the smarts of people like Palin and Bush Junior. They both may not be very intellectual, or even well informed, that seems obvious, but they are both very bright or they wouldn't have gotten as far as they did even with the help of daddy's contacts and money and power etc. in the case of Bush and physical attractiveness and a feel for what the kind of people who adore her want her to express in the case of Palin.
She is far from someone I want anywhere near any position in government, let alone the v.p. position or God forbid the White House. But there is no denying her capacity to move her followers and to capture the fascination of the entire nation—for positive and negative reasons, but nonetheless to accomplish that.
She blew it with her quitting the governorship of Alaska and her reality show phony bits and her attempts to influence the electorate after she helped blow McCain's chances (though GAME CHANGE does not depict how McCain blew it by really dropping the ball when the economic collapse occurred and in other ways).
All in all it was a pretty obvious flick that seemed to be written by people who were preaching to the choir and assumed their audience would have the same post-traumatic distress as Palin's McCain handlers obviously did. But the movie didn't really show why, except that she was extremely lame when it came to knowing some basic facts about our government and anything much outside of Alaska.
But if Palin had really looked and acted and been like the movie shows her, she never would have captured so many hearts and souls on the right nor made the rest of us take notice, even in anger. The way Julianne Moore played her, or was directed to play her, and the way her character was written in GAME CHANGE was as a pretty ineffectual spoiled brat overwhelmed with fear and ignorance, when Palin came across most of the time, even when fumbling answers and not having a clue about basic worldly facts, as determined, confidant (except maybe for a few moments in the Katie Couric interview) and certainly charismatic and aware that she was. She understood her power and wielded it and I suspect the McCain folks were surprised and outmaneuvered by her and that added to their resentment toward her and their own guilt for foisting her on the rest of us.