Julianne Moore is set to play Sarah Palin in an HBO adaptation of the dishy 2008 election recap Game Change . I'm a Moore fan (and every time I think about taking my redhead's skin unprotected out in the sun, an image of her flawless 50-year-old complexion dances through my mind) and a Palin-watcher , so the casting strikes me as great fun. I think she'll do a nice job capturing the playful Palin spark, and I applaud HBO for not taking the lazy path of throwing some glasses on a Palin lookalike. But I'm a little worried about, well, the speaking bits. As anyone who's seen her not-so-subtle 30 Rock take on the Boston accent knows, Moore's not into underplaying her characters' distinctive locutions. (More proof in her East Coast aristocrat Maude Lebowski , her posh Brit in A Single Man , etc.*)
I bet Moore's hamminess is part of why she was cast- Palin's Mat-Su Valley lilt is easy to skewer, and doing so reliably gets a laugh. But for my money, Tina Fey's dead-on (yet over-the-top) SNL Palin impression will be pretty tough to beat, so why play it that way? I hope Moore leaves the jokey vocal overcompensation at home and actually tries to explore Palin as a complicated character, which she must be, no matter how easily caricaturized the face she presents to the world might be. That's a movie I'd watch.
Correction, March 10, 2011 : The post originally mixed up A Serious Man and A Single Man.
Palin by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images. Moore by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images.