Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska becomes Sen. John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential election.

Director:

Writers:

, (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,659 ( 323)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 27 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Mark Wallace
...
...
Chris Edwards
Mikal Evans ...
Bexie Nobles
...
Tucker Eskew
...
Fred Davis
...
...
Randy Scheunemann
...
A.B. Culvahouse
Edit

Storyline

Summer, 2008: John McCain secures the nomination, but polls behind Barack Obama. Strategist Steve Schmidt suggests a game changer: picking a conservative female with media savvy, unknown Alaska governor Sarah Palin, as vice president. She's an immediate hit and a quick study - the gap closes. Then, Tina Fey's impersonation, a raft of criticism, and missing her family send Palin into a near-catatonic state: she doesn't prepare for her Katie Couric interview and bombs. Schmidt searches for an answer: don't expect her to learn the issues, but give her a script. Palin does well in the debate with Biden; she finds her voice, goes off script, and goes rogue. A mistake? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Politics would never be the same.


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 March 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Changement de cap  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was made and first released and broadcast about two years after its source book of the same name by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann had been first published in 2010. See more »

Goofs

In a bedroom scene, Julianne Moore's Sarah Palin is wearing the third jersey of the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche. This jersey was officially announced more than a year later on November 12, 2009 making it an anachronism for her character to be wearing it in 2008 during the Presidential campaign. See more »

Quotes

Steve Schmidt: [after Palin finishes an impressive debate rehearsal] That was amazing. There's just one slight adjustment I wanna give you. You need to call him Senator Biden, not Senator O'Biden.
Sarah Palin: No, that's what I called him, Senator O'Biden.
Steve Schmidt: You just said it again.
Sarah Palin: Said what?
Steve Schmidt: O'Biden.
Sarah Palin: Right. Senator Biden.
Steve Schmidt: That's it!
Sarah Palin: Oh. Biden.
Steve Schmidt: No, no, there's no "O."
Sarah Palin: No, I meant "Oh" as in "Oh, I get it," not "O" as in "O'Biden."
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.99 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

I Feel Pretty
Written by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Julie Andrews
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
And I can see Russia from my house
30 December 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Sarah Palin is one of the most famous politicians in the world, a darling of the American Right and poster girl of the Tea Party. She is also one of the most controversial for the way she acted in the 2008 Presidential Election and a source of fear and mocking from most people who do not share her beliefs. In 2012 HBO made a TV movie, hoping to coincide with a potential Palin Presidential Campaign which luckily never happened. But Game Change is still an interesting film for people interested in American Politics.

During the 2008 election Barack Obama is storming the ahead in the polls, having a successful trip in Europe and becomes known for his intelligence and charisma. The John McCain campaign led by Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson) feel the campaign needs to do something radical to get the media's attention and after its leaked that McCain's preferred choice for his VP nominate, Joe Lieberman, they see an opportunity to surprise the media and the voters. They feel John McCain needs to appeal to both women and the right and find the perfect candidate, Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore), Governor of Alaska. But despite her confidence as a speechmaker the stresses of the campaign makes Palin more unhinged and campaign more chaotic as she makes more and more gaffs.

This is not a film that is going to appeal to Palin supporters, it takes a negative view of her as the film progresses. But I personally like to think of Game Change as both a story of the corrupting influence of modern, national politics on someone who was clearly not ready. There are moments showing Palin to be competent when being asked questions in a personal interview, thinking on her feet during a her convention speech and her great strength to the Republican party was see was seemingly relatable to middle Americans and approachable when she was governor and has a great care and understanding for people with Downs Syndrome. She also occasionally came up with a good point, like that it crude of the media to pick on her 17-year-old daughter. But it was clear she was not well educated, not even having a basic understanding issues and the world and cannot even answer questions that even people would little understanding of politics could answer.

There is a strong cast in the film, Moore, Harrelson, Ed Harris and Sarah Paulson. All of them play their roles very well and Moore does get all the mannerisms and speech perfectly. This blended well with the naturalistic direction Jay Roach (most famous for the Austin Powers films and Meet the Parents). Add the characters are well written, all complex and well respected professionals. Whilst Harris did not really look much like John McCain the Senator was treated with respected and wants to do the right thing. He had suffered of being on the receiving end of a dirty campaign and did not wanted to win fairly. His team are smart: but they made a massive mistake picking Palin because she was inexperienced, unintelligence and it was a case was the campaign having their cake and eating it. I am personally of the view McCain did not need to appeal to the right because they were never going to vote for Obama and McCain needed a running mate who had economic experience.

Roach has a low key style of direction and it is admitted a little too televisual. There is nothing wrong with it and it blends well when real footage was used. The pacing was fine and it will appeal to people who are fans of The West Wing, even though this film is more focused on a few character relationships between the characters and how they centre around Palin.

The film itself revolves around five major events, the selection of Palin, the Convention, the disastrous interviews, the preparations for the VP debate and the end campaign as Palin goes rouge. There is large number of events to put into a film that is only two hours long and some of the pacing is at times too quickly, particularly at the end where she turned from a maniac depressive to being like a bull in a china shop and goes rogue. I would have wanted to see more of that and how the campaign turned so bitter.

Game Change is an interesting enough film, even if it has a rather broad approach. But it does satisfy if you are longing for more West Wing style storytelling.

7.5/10


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
She was not THAT dumb samd51
Julianne Moore imitating Tina Fey imitating Sarah Palin sambuca62
Julianne Moore has done the impossible! abby_s
The saddest thing about this film dirussel
Poor McCain thecrossed
Surprisingly Funny Comedy cuckookachoo
Discuss Game Change (2012) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?