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The Front Runner (2018)

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2:19 | Trailer
American Senator Gary Hart's presidential campaign in 1988 is derailed when he's caught in a scandalous love affair.

Director:

Jason Reitman
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64 ( 110)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Jackman ... Gary Hart
Vera Farmiga ... Lee Hart
J.K. Simmons ... Bill Dixon
Mark O'Brien ... Billy Shore
Molly Ephraim ... Irene Kelly
Chris Coy ... Kevin Sweeney
Alex Karpovsky ... Mike Stratton
Josh Brener ... Doug Wilson
Tommy Dewey ... John Emerson
Kaitlyn Dever ... Andrea Hart
Oliver Cooper ... Joe Trippi
Jenna Kanell ... Ginny Terzano
RJ Brown ... Bill Martin
Alfred Molina ... Ben Bradlee
Mamoudou Athie ... AJ Parker
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Storyline

American Senator Gary Hart's presidential campaign in 1988 is derailed when he's caught in a scandalous love affair.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a True Story See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 2019 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Spitzenkandidat See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$51,543, 11 November 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$91,169, 15 November 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Bradlee who's portrayed in this movie by Alfred Molina was also portrayed by Tom Hanks in The Post and Jason Robards in All the President's Men. Also his son Ben Bradlee Jr. was portrayed by John Slattery in the film Spotlight. See more »

Quotes

Gary Hart: This campaign is about the future. Not rumors, not sleaze, and I care about the sanctity of this process, WHETHER YOU DO OR DO NOT!
See more »


Soundtracks

Foreplay/Long Time
Written by Tom Scholz (as Tim Scholz)
Performed by Boston
Published by Pure Songs
Administered by Next Decade Entertainment, Inc.
Courtesy of Epic Records by arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
a blip in history
16 November 2018 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Jason Reitman has proven himself to be an outstanding filmmaker who delivers entertaining stories with insightful commentary often accompanied by biting humor. His excellent films include: THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, JUNO, UP IN THE AIR, and one of this year's most underappreciated films, TULLY. His latest is based on the book "All the Truth is Out" by Matt Bai (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Reitman and "House of Cards" Producer Jay Carson), and it tells the story of Colorado Senator Gary Hart and his derailed 1988 campaign for President.

The film begins in 1984 when an idealistic Hart loses the Democrat party nomination to Walter Mondale, who of course, went on to lose the national election to Ronald Reagan. It then picks up as the 1988 campaign is underway and Hart is the party frontrunner, and some say the candidate most likely to win the Presidency. Hugh Jackson plays Hart and is unfortunately burdened with an ill-fitting and distracting wig meant to emulate the lush locks sported by the youthful looking Senator. Vera Famiga plays his wife Lee, and Kaitlyn Dever plays their daughter Andrea. Casting two such fine actresses matters because of what happened during the campaign.

Senator Hart was the favored candidate of the young and the idealistic forces, though the details of his platform were never communicated clearly. Mostly, he was presented as the energetic candidate of hope versus the stodgy Republican Party that had delivered Ronald Regan for 8 years and was now looking to George Herbert Walker Bush. Everything changed for Hart when rumors of marital infidelity, and possibly even an open marriage, began to circulate. When the media asked him, he was defiant ... at times snapping in anger that his personal life was no one's business.

We are taken inside the campaign via many familiar faces, including campaign manager Bill Dixon played by JK Simmons, and a terrific turn by Molly Ephraim as staffer Irene Kelly. We are invited on board the aptly named party yacht "Monkey Business" when Hart first meets Donna Rice (Sara Paxton), setting off what could considered be the birth of political gossip-columns. The Herald and Washington Post are key players here, as are editor Ben Bradlee (Alfred Molina) and iconic journalist Bob Woodward. Apparently this is supposed to show us how politics and the media coverage of politics changed with Gary Hart.

Where the movie lets us down is in not providing any explanation to why Hart was the front runner, whether the U.S. or even the democratic party missed out on a great (or even competent) President, and how in the world Hart was so clueless as to why citizens might have an interest in his personal life activities that included sleeping with a woman (or women) that weren't his wife. By the way, the reason for the last one is character ... and we've since learned it's not as important as what we might have once thought. These are all key issues as to why this is even a story, and whether or not it's interesting enough to re-tell.

Instead of details, we are bombarded with overlapping dialogue and frenetic editing designed to generate some buzz and energy. The reality is that Gary Hart was really not that interesting, and in fact, by denying the importance of character, he thumbed his nose at his supporters. This blip on American history is simply not enough to justify a 2 hour a movie, and Mr. Jackman never seems able to capture the essence of Hart (whatever that essence might have been). There is obvious relevance to how today's press treats personal stories, but a bland candidate makes for a bland movie.


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