While everyone else is lining up for the end of the Harry Potter saga, a new documentary film about Sarah Palin will be opening Friday at AMC Grapevine Mills. Grapevine will be one of the only places to see it, too; the movie is being kept out of the blue states entirely and is only showing at nine other locations (all of them AMC theaters) in the entire country. The film is titled The Undefeated. I guess walking away from one’s job before a tricky re-election campaign is a way to stay undefeated.
The movie is the work of Stephen K. Bannon, who’s best known for In the Face of Evil, Reagan’s War in Word and Deed, a rather portentous 2004 film that played in a few North Texas theaters at the time. The Undefeated has, predictably, not been screened for most movie critics, but those who’ve seen it say that the film emphasizes Palin’s moderate record as governor of Alaska, working with Democrats in the state legislature and forcing Big Oil to pay up in the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster. No word on how the movie reconciles that Palin with the pandering-to-the-conservative-base public figure that we see now. In an ominous sign, the New York Post‘s hard-right-leaning film critic Kyle Smith slammed the movie in no uncertain terms, calling it “an excruciating combination of bombast and whining” and said he’d rather watch a Michael Moore film. Whoa!
In other Palin-related movie notes, British actress Lucy Punch says she based her character in Bad Teacher on Palin. She certainly delivers her dialogue with a familiar twang. Julianne Moore is portraying Palin in the HBO documentary adaptation of Game Change. And Palin is also the subject of an upcoming documentary by Nick Broomfield. If you’ve never seen one of Broomfield’s muckraking documentaries, let’s just say he’s like Michael Moore if Moore were a skinny, bespectacled, upper-class British guy. I’m going to go out on a limb and say his film will be more critical of its subject than The Undefeated.
One more note: On a weekend dominated by a movie about wizards and witchcraft, I can’t believe someone missed the opportunity to release a documentary about Christine O’Donnell.