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Julianne Moore/Sarah Palin Movie GAME CHANGE: HBO Hit

Julianne Moore Sarah Palin Game Change
Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, Game Change

Julianne Moore may not get an Oscar nomination early next year, but she seems to have an Emmy nod – probably the award itself – guaranteed thanks to her performance as U.S. vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the HBO movie Game Change. As the v.p. selected to run alongside Republican presidential candidate John McCain, Palin was a source of outrage, disgust, mirth, horror, and/or worship, depending on one's point of view: far-right Christian or secular liberal, Tina Fey / Saturday Night Live fan or non-fan.

This year, Game Change not only earned Moore great reviews, but according to The Hollywood Reporter it has also become HBO's most successful movie – 2.1 million viewers – since Joseph Sargent's Something the Lord Made (2.6 million in May 2004).

That's quite a contrast from the Sarah Palin documentaries that, whether pro or con, bombed miserably at the North American box office last year. The pro-Palin The Undefeated, for instance, was only remembered during awards season by the Razzie Award voters: Palin herself is up for Worst Actress of the Year, alongside Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son's Martin Lawrence, I Don't Know How She Does It / New Year's Eve's Sarah Jessica Parker, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1's Kristen Stewart, and Jack and Jill's Adam Sandler.

It's unclear whether Palin is honored or embarrassed by her Razzie nomination, but the former v.p. hopeful has made a point of voicing her disapproval of the HBO movie, claiming that Game Change is "based on a false narrative."

The "narrative" – false or not – Game Change is based on is Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's book. The HBO drama stars Ed Harris as McCain and Woody Harrelson as McCain's former campaign strategist Steve Schmidt, in addition to Peter MacNicol, Sarah Paulson, Jamey Sheridan, David Barry Gray, Larry Sullivan, and Ron Livingston.

Jay Roach, best known for his political TV movie Recount and – anachronistically – for the lowbrow comedies Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Meet the Parents, and Meet the Fockers, directed from a screenplay by Danny Strong.

Julianne Moore's 2012 big-screen releases, I should add, are Paul Weitz's Being Flynn, starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano; and possibly Craig Zisk's The English Teacher, with Lily Collins and Michael Angarano; and Scott McGehee and David Siegel's What Maisie Knew, with Alexander Skarsgård and Steve Coogan.

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