"Game Change" received a lot of bad press from the Houses of McCain and Palin. Neither of their camps appreciated how they were portrayed. Yet, neither of them denied that the events of the campaign occurred as they transpire in the film. This is unfortunate as HBO has created a very good movie adaptation of the McCain/Palin run.
Julian Moore gives a stunningly sensitive portrayal of an overwhelmed Palin. Ed Harris presents McCain as a consummate gentleman. Woody Harrelson as Steven Schmidt vacillates between being a dick and a hero. Their acting, and that of the supporting cast, is superb.
The movie includes clips from the "Saturday Night Live" skits featuring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; there are snippets from Palin's infamous interview with the brave Katie Couric; Anderson Cooper makes two brief cameos in separate interviews. These national media clips serve as a reference for the erratic behavior of Palin and the brusque demeanor of McCain.
Special features include "Creating a Candidate," an intelligent expose by political and media experts detailing the specific characteristics nominees must have in order to be a viable candidate for political office. Interviewees examine how politicians Palin, McCain and Obama measure up in regard to theatrical ability and stamina.
In "Game Change: The Phenomenon" the film's creative team, the book writers and political experts compare the reality of the 2008 campaign to the drama of the movie. The book by the same title, catapulted the drama of the McCain/Palin's precarious campaign into the limelight.