The Front-Runner “Timely, Though-Provoking Political Drama” 3 & ½ Stars
Hugh Jackman plays Gary Hart, the US Congressman whose Presidential ambitions were derailed in 1987 in the wake of revelations of an adulterous affair. Hart tries to maintain that the American voters aren’t interested in his personal life but the media pursue the story marking a turning point in the way politicians were scrutinised for their indiscretions.
The film has been overlooked for Awards attention, primarily I’d say because of Vice capturing the political film spotlight, and also because Vice portrays a republican politician, Dick Cheney in a harsh light which may appeal to the many liberal academy members, whereas The Front Runner paints a dark picture of a democratic hopeful.
Jackman as usual is superb and after a shaky start of 20 or so minutes the film becomes a tightrope of a thriller that captures the three weeks that destroyed Hart’s chances at becoming president.