i’m not sure how much of the behind the scenes stuff is based on verifiable fact, so i’ll get that out of the way now. much of the film jibes with what i know about mccain and palin and the 2008 race in general, but some of the more scandalous, gossipy things i hadn’t heard about. anyone with a brain can see that palin doesn’t have one in the traditional sense. the right thinks this film is a hit job, but i found it to be mostly pretty fair to her. she comes off as ambitious and not altogether well-versed on politics and foreign policy 101. however, she does come off as principled – she supposedly wanted to return all the expensive clothes that the campaign bought her and her family, she didn’t want to appear with anyone who was pro-choice, etc. it’s clear that she has a very strong sense of what is right and wrong; though i disagree with her on most points.
the film itself isn’t all that great. the writing could use an aaron sorkin punch up and most of the actors turn in less than stellar performances. jay roach is tapped again to do a political recount (no pun intended) of an actual event. last time he did this it was on another star-studded hbo film – recount – which was about the florida recount in 2000. he’s an odd choice for these films since his strengths are really as a comedic director.