7/10 What a year for Jason Reitman. Like Ridley Scott last year, Reitman directed two films this year and released them six months apart. Although I didn’t see his first film this year, “Tully”, I was excited to see “The Front Runner” because it has two things I love: true political stories and Hugh Jackman. Hugh Jackman plays a character unlike any he has ever played before. We are used to seeing him as charismatic and showy and we as the audience are drawn to him. However, in this film he is cold and distant in every scene that he isn’t giving a political speech and that is exciting to see. The supporting cast is strong as well but this is Jackman’s film for sure. The story is interesting but unfortunately rather predictable. It has a decent score but it isn’t particularly memorable at all. Even though Reitman plays it safe while directing and doesn’t go for anything showy or stylistic, the film works. The way politicians have always acted hasn’t changed but people really started to get turned off to scandal ridden politicians as opposed to just turning a blind eye. It is rather fascinating to relate the film to today’s political climate and how some people judge politicians off of their likability and personality while others only care about the policies they will enact. The film’s pacing is solid and never goes on for too long. I know a lot of people could probably use a break from watching the news or following politics but this film’s 1980s setting gives the audience just enough breathing room from the political world we live in today. While not an extremely memorable or stylistic film, “The Front Runner” is still worth checking out for its strong performances, true life story and its interesting character study how a politician can be one way out in the public eye but a completely different way in the privacy of their own home. If you enjoy true stories or political films, this isn’t a game changer but it is not a bad way to kill a couple of hours.
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