HBO and director Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, Recount) are bringing the gossipy 2008 campaign book Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime to the small screen, and they've already made the most-anticipated casting decision: Julianne Moore, a lauded actress who's been nominated for four Oscars, will portray Sarah Palin. Is she really the best choice to portray the former Alaska governor?
Palin should be pleased: At the very least, "Moore will make for an interesting Palin," says Nardine Saad at the Los Angeles Times. Whether or not her Sarah can "compete with the gal from [Tina] Fey's spot-on 'Saturday Night Live' spoofs" is an open question, but Palin could do much worse. Being portrayed by a "classy redhead" like Moore will certainly be more flattering than the upcoming Palin-like character Kathy Griffin will play on "Glee."
"Julianne Moore to play Sarah Palin — but can she compete with Tina Fey?"
Moore may have trouble exuding folksiness: The role is "a little too serious" for a straight-up "Palin-impersonator" like Fey, but there were better choices than Moore, says Drew Grant at Salon. Mary-Louise Parker or Laura Dern would be great, and Megan Mullally "would have nailed it." Sure, "Moore is an amazing actress who rarely fails at conquering a character," but her on-screen "brittleness" seems a poor match for Palin's "aw-shucks" persona.
"Julianne Moore to play Sarah Palin in Game Change"
No one could triumph in this thankless role: Moore might not be "great at doing convincing accents," says Jaime Weinman at Maclean's. But even if she were, "it's hard to do a non-caricatured Palin impression." And given that the film should drop just when Palin would be ramping up her 2012 presidential bid, nothing about Moore's portrayal will go unscrutinized — especially with Palin's strategic assaults on any and all "pop-culture criticism of herself."
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