On Wednesday night at the Television Critics Association's annual gathering in Pasadena, HBO screened BY THE PEOPLE: THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA, the much-anticipated look at the making of the President's electoral campaign by filmmakers Amy Rice and Alicia Sams. It kicks off an Oscar qualifying run in NY and LA next week before landing on HBO in early November.
The film has been the subject of much speculation, and it appears that Variety's Wilshire & Washington blog has the first extended take on the film:
There are candid moments in BY THE PEOPLE: access to Michelle Obama at home with Malia and Sasha, interviews with Obama's sister and brother in law in Hawaii, an audio interview with his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who describes the child Obama as a "normal boy" who "wanted to be a big-time basketball player." But there is nothing that could possibly be embarrassing about it. Obama and, by and large his staffers, are largely calm, cool and collected in their private moments.
Obama, after three hours of shaking hands in Iowa in 2007, complains half jokingly, "It's like I've been through a wrestling match." When he is preparing for the final debate with John McCain, he tries to find just the right tone when his rival brings up William Ayers. "I don't want to sound whiny about his lies," Obama says. In another instance during the general election, Axelrod grouses, "It is getting very ugly out there. What McCain and Palin did was really irresponsible. They are inciting people."
The 100-minute movie focuses on Obama and a number of senior aides, including Plouffe and Axelrod, it also captures younger staffers in field operations, including Mike Blake, who started as deputy political director in Iowa, and Ronnie Cho, who started as Iowa field organizer."
Much more at Variety.