Game Change won five Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Miniseries/Movie, Outstanding Casting, Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Writing, and Outstanding Lead Actress. It was also nominated for seven other awards. Now it awaits its fate with multiple nominations for the Golden Globes, Writers Guild, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
If you haven't already gotten the chance to watch Game Change, you're in luck. On January 8th, the HBO movie will be released on Blu-ray and DVD.
The story is based on a book of the same name by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, which tells the tale of the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Actually, the book covers much, much more territory than the movie, especially the Democratic primary. but to adapt it all would have been too massive an undertaking. Instead, the HBO adaptation focuses on the last part of the book, which covers the selection Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore, 30 Rock, Crazy, Stupid, Love) as John McCain's running mate and the race to the finish line with a vice presidential candidate not ready to handle a national campaign.
Before you dismiss Game Change as partisan nonsense, as some on the right have accused it of being, you should first watch it. As a character study, it stays pretty fair, thanks to writer Danny Strong (Recount)'s reliance on real events, without pushing a specific agenda, letting viewers make their own judgments. It is also like watching a disaster movie in a way, as we observe the inept and unprepared Palin come very close to the heights of power, admittedly a view made based solely on my own judgment.
Game Change goes beyond Palin's missteps and slip ups and allows viewers behind the scenes of a hotly contested presidential election. John McCain's (Ed Harris, Appaloosa, The Hours) staff, and in particular advisor Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson, Cheers, Zombieland), tries to manage Palin, and keep her from costing them the victory. The trouble is, Palin isn't willing to just follow their orders, though why she resists is up for debate.