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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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Popularity
380 ( 29)
1 win & 3 nominations. 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

Gary Hart, a U.S. senator from Colorado, is the widely accepted front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. After losing the 1984 nomination to vice-president Walter Mondale, Hart decides to run for President of the United States. At one point during his campaign, against the will of his manager Bill Dixon, Hart challenges the press and public to "follow him around" while he's not campaigning on weekends. This proves to be a mistake when in 1987, photos of him and journalist Donna Rice are published by Miami Herald Reporters. In a desperate attempt to clear his name, Hart tries to fix his reputation at a news event concerning the affair but to no avail. Because of the consequences of his actions, Hart is disgraced, berated by Dixon, and forced to drop out of the campaign while his wife Oletha remains to be close with him. Donna also announces that she has personally denied sleeping with the now former senator..

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a True Story See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Front Runner 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:

$2,000,105, 20 December 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

Sarah Paxton who plays Donna Rice was born in 1988, the year the events depicted occurred. See more »

Goofs

The film begins in 1984 then the screen displays "4 years later" but it actually picks up in early 1987. See more »

Quotes

Bill Dixon: We're talking about how you get through today without pissing away everything we've all worked for on this campaign! If you lose this, we can kiss the White House goodbye.
See more »

Connections

References Miami Vice (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Winter In
Written by Gene Clark
Performed by Gene Clark
Published by Irving Music, Inc.
Courtesy of A&M Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A vehicle for Jackman, but little else
16 October 2018 | by rorymarsh00See all my reviews

'The Front Runner' is a film that, despite its heavy political background, is more focused on the personal story of its titular character, Gary Hart. Reitman's film both benefits and suffers for this, depending on the type of audience member you are. Should you be expecting a dense political drama, evolving from a campaign and policy focused narrative into more of a personal crisis, you may be disappointed. The political background is present, but irrelevant in the overarching narrative, instead revealing itself to purely be a character-driven drama. 'The Front Runner' is not about the difficulties of running for president, but more about how the media can tarnish one's livelihood, and their treatment to Hart, whilst arguably justified, appears alarmingly savage when compared to Trump's America and the conspiracies plaguing his presidency. As a result, the film is surprisingly relevant today, but more down to coincidence than planned. Despite this, Jackman's performance may be a standout in his career, serving as the lifeblood of this story - his peak dramatic moments are unmatched throughout the film. This performance may well create a contender come awards season, as he skillfully fluctuates from a good-natured family man, to a paranoid mess, and everything in-between. Furthermore, the film's reluctance to take a side regarding the prevalent issues it discusses is bolstered by Jackman creating a character that is not good or bad, neither morally grey, forming someone who is undoubtable real. As a result, when Jackman is at his best, 'The Front Runner' achieves dizzying heights, serving as a relentlessly compelling character piece, however, upon his absence, which serves as a large portion of the film, it can become overly slow and laborious, leaving the audience striving for his return. Furthermore, the conclusion appears anti-climactic which, unavoidable as it may be considering this is a true story, nonetheless ends with a squeak rather than a shout. The narrative aside, the film is technically well-constructed, opening with a gorgeous long-take that establishes the time and setting with efficiency, an illusion that holds up throughout. Even the use of title-cards establishing locations are reminiscent of films made in the late-80's and early 90's, this attention to detail reminiscent of a director who cares for the source material. Reitman is, by this point, an experienced director, and his confidence is visible here, however, it feels as though the stellar direction and performances deserve more than this generic, somewhat unfulfilling narrative can provide.


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