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By Wolf Blitzer, CNN
(CNN) – Washington insiders were at the Newseum last night to see the new HBO film, “Game Change,” about Sarah Palin and the 2008 race for the White House.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very impressed with the finished product. It kept my interest for the entire two hours.
Julianne Moore is amazing as Palin. Tina Fey is a very good (and funny) Palin on “Saturday Night Live,” but Moore is even better. She is also a lot more serious.
The film is seen from the perspective of John McCain (played by Ed Harris) and his top campaign strategists, especially Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson) and Nicolle Wallace (Sarah Paulson).
Schmidt and Wallace cooperated with the filmmakers. I know Palin didn’t provide a lot of help to them.
The film is based on the terrific bestseller written by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. They had unique access to key players and provided strong reporting and insight.
But a great book doesn’t always guarantee a great film. Actually, I have been disappointed more often than not by movie adaptations of wonderful books.
But this one doesn’t disappoint.
The director, Jay Roach, and screenwriter, Danny Strong, succeed because they only take a chunk of the book and drill down on it. That involves McCain’s selection of the then-Alaska governor to be his vice presidential running mate and the events that followed.
The book’s other focus – the election of Barack Obama – is actually a sideshow in the film.
I will note that it was a bit strange for me to see various clips of my 2008 campaign reporting on the big screen. But that was fun and I was flattered.
The movie airs on our sister network HBO Saturday 9 p.m. ET. I think you will enjoy it.
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