The Front Runner (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Director: Jason Reitman
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Duration: 113 minutes

The Front Runner (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Great acting, good story
Bad: Might be a tad too slow
User Score
6.8
(4 votes)
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Rating: 6.8/10 (4 votes cast)

Being in a public or political role these days means that you have all eyes on you and any mistake is surely going to bite you in the ass. These days there is a whole list of scandals, and probably some didn’t even see the daylight yet. Of course, it wasn’t always like this where these people were hunted but gently grew in society. In The Front Runner, we get to see one of these tragic stories from close by.

It’s the year 1984 and a few hours after the voting for president. Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman), a U.S. senator from Colorado is trying his luck for the title but is beaten by Walter Mondale. The senator and his team don’t give up and in 1988 they’re back and with a bang. Hart is loved and is seen as the best option for Democratic presidential nomination. The campaign is going smoothly and although the schedule is hectic, he and his wife Oletha or Lee for short (Vera Farmiga) are able to talk to the endless hordes of journalists. Some of them even follow them all around, giving a better view of the life of the candidate.

The manager of Hart, Bill Dixon (J.K. Simmons), is trying his best to get the most votes but he doesn’t always agree with the senator. When during a certain interview the journalist starts to pry about the private life of Hart, the latter mentions to follow him around during the weekends to see just how boring his life is. Of course, this is exactly what happens and is the start of the downfall of the candidate. They see a mysterious woman, who afterward is identified as Donna Rice (Sara Paxton), which only fueled the gossip even more.

Pace wise the movie is rather slow as the last three weeks of campaigning of the senator is shown in the movie. This means that there is quite some time to go into some parts of the story, giving you more details about what happened during this period and how it evolved to such a ticking timebomb. If you’re looking for action, you’re definitely looking at the wrong movie. Lots of talking, political games and bickering is more something you’ll see. One thing that is worth mentioning, is that the plot itself might seem rather difficult as names and events are thrown at you and if you don’t have a bit of background it might take you a while to understand who is who and what their role is.

The movie does have some really nice actors like Hugh Jackman and J.K. Simmons, who make it rather enjoyable to watch. We know Hugh from a plethora of movies and he was able to give Gary Hart the heart and soul he needed in this movie. To show the raw side of all the troubles and how he copes with it they couldn’t have picked a better actor. His wife in the movies, Vera, has a rather difficult task to fulfill as she has to play the hurt woman and she succeeds with flying colors. Everyone in this movie takes the acting up a notch and it surely will keep you engaged.

If you were expecting a lot of bonuses on the Blu-ray version, you might be surprised. There are only two actual extras added and commentary. First of all, you’re able to get more details about the events that took place so many years ago together with the casting of the actors and their feeling about the movie for example. If you didn’t get enough of the movie, you can also watch some deleted scenes to get a more complete comprehension of what transpired. It would have been nice if there was a bit more available, like bloopers, but seeing the nature of the movie it might not be that appropriate.

Conclusion

This movie will be something for you if you have a soft spot for political events. Thanks to Hugh Jackman you’ll be able to dive into the story of Gary Hart and the storm that followed him after some gossip and insinuations. It shows just how people in the public have to watch their every step and how it changed from having private lives to being followed by journalists. The flow is rather slow and the movie is filled to the brim with conversations, so action-seekers might want to skip this one.

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Rating: 6.8/10 (4 votes cast)
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The Front Runner (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 6.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Chun-Li
Chun-Li


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