Review of THE FRONT RUNNER – Rated R – 1 hr 53 mins

MV5BMTcyNTAxOTg4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTMwNjQ2NjM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,658,1000_AL_

THE FRONT RUNNER – Rated R – 1 hr 53 mins

DIRECTOR/WRITER:  Jason Reitman

WRITERS:  Matt Bai, Jay Carson

STARRING:  Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Alfred Molina and Sara Paxton

Based on the Book “All The Truth Is Out” by Matt Bai, which was based on the real-life demise of Gary Hart’s (Hugh Jackman) bid for the Whitehouse…we venture deep into Hart’s campaign…as he seeks to be the Democratic Nominee for the 1988 Presidential Election…

Viewed as the frontrunner in the race, due to his high virtues and outstanding charisma with the general public, itseems that all of Hart’s campaign staff, including Senior Aid Bill Dixon (J. K. Simmons) are flying high at how good everything is looking in the polls…

That is until rumors start surfacing that Hart may not be “Mr. Faithful” after all to his wife Lee (Vera Farmiga), as it seems that being on the campaign trail makes way for way too many “distractions”…

When Reporters from the Miami Herald decide to stake out Hart’s residence, which was not occupied by his wife, but by another beautiful young woman by the name of Donna Rice (Sara Paxton), its seems that this possible extra-marital affair is about to totally derail Hart’s run for the Whitehouse, as the country we live in – Circa 1988 – isn’t going to turn a blind eye to Hart’s indiscretions, forcing him to drop out of the race…

I give THE FRONT RUNNER a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN or WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD! Jason Reitman is a master storyteller – as he brings Hart’s life, campaign, and its ultimate demise to the big screen.  From the exceptional casting of Jackman playing the charismatic Gary Hart, to Vera Farmiga as the  strong, but “willing to look the other way” wife, Lee Hart, this film is perfectly cast, with some exceptional performances throughout by them both.  And even though we know this true-story from beginning to end, Reitman manages to tell this story through the lives of numerous individuals closely involved, giving us a glimpse, and a new understanding of exactly how many people were affected by Hart’s womanizing ways.  As enjoyable as it was to view this film, I was also saddened by some of its content too, as once again I began pondering, as a married women myself, how women can turn a blind’s eye to their husband’s indiscretions.  I guess you never really know how you will handle that situation until you are in those shoes.  All-in-All I thoroughly enjoyed Reitman’s multidimensional take on Hart’s demise, I just wish that the performances throughout, although entertaining, might have been more exceptional, and award worthy, with the film popping at this time of year.

Kathy Kaiser