Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, March 02, 2012

Reel Lives of Sarah Palin

Unlike a film about the past that won the Oscar without words, the second biopic of a historical figure named Sarah Palin is apparently full of them, even before it hits the screen.

Has it been less than four years ago that an unknown governor of Alaska wowed the GOP convention with a speech about hockey moms and pit bulls with lipstick?

Now, after losing in 2008, quitting her day job and starring on Fox News, Facebook and a bus-trip strip tease about running for president this year, she is waging preemptive war against HBO’s “Game Change,” which premieres next weekend, with a video of John McCain’s people saying nice things about her publicly while they were suffering behind the scenes with her “Going Rogue” candidacy.

Palin apparently prefers the first movie about her, “The Undefeated,” a fawning infomercial with friends facing the camera and heaping praise on her, interspersed with Alaskan scenery and repeated shots of fat men in cigar-smoke-filled back rooms.

In it, Palin says her favorite movie is “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” but she never got there, and Netflix viewers rate her movie “didn’t like.”

Now, as Palin tries to undercut a more realistic picture of her, she is also pontificating about “pettiness” and “bickering” in the GOP primaries.

Of their new film, with Julianne Moore as you-know-who and Ed Harris as John McCain, the producers parry Palin’s attacks: “HBO has a long track record of producing fact-based dramas, and our mantra has always been ‘get the story right.’ We stand by our movie and we hope that people will withhold any judgment until they have viewed the film.”

In all fairness, the 21st century Norma Desmond deserves a “Sunset Boulevard” coda: “You’re Sarah Palin, you used to be big.” “I am big, it’s the politics that got small.”

It would be hard to argue with that.

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