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The Front Runner (2018)

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2:19 | Trailer

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In theaters March 7.

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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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:

Gary Hart was going to be President. Instead he changed American Politics forever. 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:

7 March 2019 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Spitzenkandidat 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Bradlee who's portrayed in this movie by Alfred Molina was also portrayed by Tom Hanks in The Post and Jason Robards in All the President's Men. Also his son Ben Bradlee Jr. was portrayed by John Slattery in the film Spotlight. 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

Gary Hart: This campaign is about the future. Not rumors, not sleaze, and I care about the sanctity of this process, WHETHER YOU DO OR DO NOT!
See more »

Connections

Features The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Tarantella
Written by Albert Pieczonka
Performed by Vera Farmiga
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User Reviews

 
A script that never develops its central character
23 November 2018 | by richard-1787See all my reviews

The acting in this movie is fine. The problem lies in the script. Near the end it gives Lee Hart, and even Donna Rice, scenes that allow us to get to know them somewhat, see what's inside them. We never get that for Gary Hart, who is far and away the most important character in this movie. We never see what made Hart so popular, especially with younger voters. We never get to see him explain important issues to the masses, though we are told that he does that very effectively. We never get scenes with him in which he gives us a hint of why he risks his career with his extra-marital affairs. He comes off as very cold, very distant, and that's problematic for a central character. As a result, we have no reason to feel anything when his career is finally destroyed.

To an extent, this is about the media's intrusion into the privacy of public officials, but that isn't examined. Nor is there any attempt to suggest a change over time to today, when a sitting president can boast about extra-marital affairs and not suffer any loss of popularity.

In the end, I was left wondering why this story was being told in 2018. It doesn't make us understand Hart, or feel sorry for him. It doesn't tell us anything either about 1988 or our own era. It doesn't make Hart a character we can feel for when he falls, because it never shows him to us as a great if flawed man. (Several characters tell us he is great, but that's not the same thing.) What was the point of filming it?


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