Last night was the premiere of the HBO drama, Game Change, based on the 2008 McCain/Palin presidential campaign. I watched it and thought they did a fine job; the acting was top-notch. Julianne Moore and Ed Harris were spot-on as Sarah Palin and John McCain. The rest of the cast were good too, although I can’t say as to how accurately they portray characters with whom I’m not familiar. I can tell you that they were believable.
Let me talk about the movie in 2 parts: Production and Story.
As you may recall, I posted about the movie production that took place here in Baltimore last May. On my way into work, I saw the movie production trucks lining the streets on which I make my daily walk from the subway station to my office building. When I went to lunch that day, I brought my camera and snapped a few pictures. As it turned out, that route that I walked was used for an important scene in the movie.
The scene is where Palin’s prep person/former White House press secretary is arguing with Palin on her cell and then telling Woody Harrelson’s campaign manager character that he can blame the Couric interview debacle on her if he wants, but she will not work another day with Sarah Palin.
The route she walks is the exact route I took when coming back from my lunch at Burger King that day.
She starts by walking down this sidewalk, (above, across from the buses) toward the camera, right where that red brick building is (which is a Walgreen's).
Then she makes a left at the corner and walks up this street, past the fountain on the left. Again, she walks toward the camera, and you can see Walgreen's directly behind her.
At this point, I was babbling excitedly to Pinky, “That’s my Walgreen's! That’s my Walgreen's! I shop there all the time.”
When she’s by the fountain, the perspective changes and they show her with the street behind her and you can see the Baltimore City courthouse, which is where I served my last 2 stints of jury duty.
(“There’s the courthouse! There’s the courthouse!”)
What can I say, I’m easily amused. It’s cool to see a place that you go all the time show up on national television. We were also able to spot a local restaurant out in the ‘burbs that served as a campaign bus stop. And because I know that they were filming inside the hotel right beside my office building, I’m pretty sure they were using one of the conference rooms there to film a campaign strategy-meeting scene.
They also filmed another hotel scene that I’m pretty sure they shot at the Hilton by Camden Yards. It wasn’t that I recognized any signage; there was no mistaking this hallway.
AKA: “The Shining” hallway. This is from when Pinky and I stayed at the Hilton for New Years Eve, 2010.
Then again, maybe all Hiltons have this ugly-assed carpeting, so I could be wrong. It could be a Hilton in L.A., for all I know.
Like I said earlier, the movie itself was quite enjoyable, albeit frightening. I think the only one that comes across as sympathetic is McCain. He appeared to be a good man trying to run a decent, positive campaign.
I know that the Palin camp has been trying to paint the production as untruthful and biased, (before actually seeing the whole movie), even though it’s based on a book that was sourced by people inside the campaign. They claim that the sources are just disgruntled former employees with an ax to grind.
The thing with that is, just because a person has an ax to grind, that doesn’t make them wrong. They just get more pleasure out of telling the truth.
I believe what I saw from the movie. I believe that they have sources for most everything that is shown, and have made good-faith efforts to deduce the things to which there were no witnesses.
That said, we should thank our lucky stars that Sarah Palin is nowhere near the White House. Her shaky temperament and complete lack of awareness of the world outside our country’s borders (or Alaska’s borders, for that matter) is appalling. She has a world-view that is a mile wide and an inch deep. The fact is, she’s just not very bright. One might be able to get elected on charisma, but if there’s nothing underneath, it will make for a very trying time.
They made it clear that the only reason she was on the ticket is because they didn’t have enough time to vet her properly. In the brief time they had to check her out, all they saw was an attractive, staunchly pro-life governor that gave an engaging speech. They never got around to asking her any questions about what she knew. The Republicans were going for a high-risk, high-reward stunt nomination to combat the charismatic Democratic nominee and they got burned.
I’m sure HBO will be running the movie throughout the next month, so if you missed it last night, you will have many chances to catch it and make up your own mind. (If you have HBO, that is. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for the DVD or Netflix.) It was definitely worth the two hours.