Julianne Moore's Palin imitation in the HBO made-for-television movie "Game Change" was extremely accurate, according to Washington D.C. insiders who saw the premiere.
Julianne Moore took her Sarah Palin role very seriously, and her dedication shined through, said moviegoers. Wolf Blitzer of CNN's "Situation Room" thought Moore's take on Palin was "well done."
"She did an amazing Sarah Palin," Blitzer told Politico. "She looked like her, she sounded like her- she was Sarah Palin."
Luke Russert of NBC News echoed Blitzer's conclusion, saying that he could have confused Moore for Palin during the film.
"To be honest with you, I was floored by how well the portrayal was," said Russert. "Again, the popular cliché is you forget who you are watching and you think it's the real person. … It was pretty impressive."
Moore's Palin- while outstanding, according to many- was very much the result of old-fashioned hard work. Moore spoke about her efforts to imitate Palin, made difficult by having only two months to study.
"I basically had two months to prepare, so I cleared my schedule of everything, literally," Moore told Capitol File magazine. "I cleared everything that didn't involve my family- I just let go of it and spent all of my time doing the research."
Her "research" involved all the footage of Palin from the 2008 election, her T.V. shows, public appearances, books on tape- anything the actress could get her hands on.
"I used to watch it at night," she told Access Hollywood of Palin's reality show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska." "I did everything I could, absolutely everything I could. I only had two months to prepare. It was a pretty brief preparation time, so I listened to her book on tape."
"Everything's documented," Moore told Jill Martin of Access Hollywood on the red carpet during the premiere. "All of her media appearances, all of her speeches, the debate- I'd listen to it when I was running … I'd work with a vocal coach. … I did nothing else for two months."
Hard work paid off.
"You really did forget you were watching Julianne Moore," Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post told Politico. "You were watching Sarah Palin."
Not everyone was impressed by the film, however. Despite the script being "very heavily researched" according to Moore, some did not appreciate the portrayal of Palin.
"I haven't seen HBO's latest effort at manipulating history," Tim Crawford, a top aide to Palin, told The Washington Post Feb. 17. "However, based upon the description and reports from people who have viewed the film 'Game Change,' HBO has distorted, twisted and invented facts to create a false narrative and attract viewers. They call it a docu-drama; there is little 'docu' in it. HBO must add a disclaimer that this movie is fiction."
Contradicting Crawford's statement was Nicole Wallace, a GOP strategist and the senior adviser to the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008. "Game Change" was "true enough to make me squirm," said Wallace.