The Front Runner

Political dramas are fraught with pitfalls. They can be talky.  When they are based on real political character and events, the audience already knows the outcome. Suspense is muted and all you have left is the “journey”. Rarely is that journey interesting. All the President’s Men and The Candidate are among the few successes. Chappaquiddick was a failure in 2017. Now comes The Front Runner about Gary Hart and his aborted run for President in 1988. This messily directed Jason Reitman film hangs itself with an excess of speaking parts for people we don’t care about. The in your face camera works is a poor attempt to get us involved. HBO’s Newsroom series did a better job of engaging us. It’s a full thirty minutes before we have a scene that grabs us momentarily. Hugh Jackman’s excellent performance is done in by the chatter and lack of focus. Vera Farmiga does what she can as the suffering wife. Overall not a bad film, just a wasted cinematic experience.

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