Hugh Jackman in The Front Runner

Film Review: The Front Runner

Jason Reitman directs Hugh Jackman in the story of Gary Hart’s untimely downfall.


If you have an interest in American politics then this film is for you. It’s based on the 2014 book All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid, by Matt Bai.

In 1988 Gary Hart looked set to become the next president of the United States. A tabloid used sleaze as front-page news and his campaign was sidelined by an extramarital affair with Donna Rice. This is the story of political self-destruction… in three weeks.

Academy Award nominated  Jason Reitman directs Hugh Jackman, J.K Simmons and   Vera Farmiga.

It’s very interesting to see how the newspapers of the 1980’s started to make way for change in the way the public viewed men in power. Up until this point any seedy stories of extra marital affairs regarding influential men had been kept a secret. This is the first time a Politician was to be exposed in this way. This is where sleaze began to take centre stage on the front pages.

Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman stars as charismatic Politician Gary Hart. Hart challenges the public to follow him around in a flippant remark to a news reporter not thinking for one moment that they would – and so the scandal and his downfall begins. Attempting to clear his name he tries to fix his reputation at a news event to no avail.

Jackman fans won’t be disappointed as he shows real guilt when he gets caught out. For me – J.K Simmons stole the show. He has a few good one-liners and I enjoyed his on-screen time. Vera Farmiga is very convincing as Hart’s wife – the scene in which they meet for the first time after the affair is announced brought a tear to my eye.

The hand-held camera scenes work with great effect to make you seem more involved and put you in the heart of the action. The 1980’s atmosphere is spot on with the hairstyles, props and so on and makes you feel like you’ve time hopped. The music adds to the impact too.

It’s a worthy film with a great cast. The film would have been better with more focus on the relationship between Hart and his wife. He started his own downfall and this film shows how that happened. Politicians beware!!!


Reviewed by Gemma Crossland

Check out the official website here.

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