Hampton’s visitor Hugh Jackman returns to the big screen in Sony Pictures’ The Front Runner. The film tells the story of one of the biggest political sex scandals in American history, that of Senator Gary Hart. Jackman portrays Hart and is joined onscreen by Vera Farmiga, Sara Paxton, Kaitlyn Dever and J. K. Simmons. The film is based on a book by Matt Bai and directed by Jason Reitman.
Hart—as the title of the film suggests—was the front runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination. In the trailer, released August 30, a reporter can be heard saying, “Gary Hart is the man to beat in ’88,” that is, until a journalist followed Hart to his town house and allegedly found him with a mistress. The scandal of Hart’s assumed affair and the investigation that followed completely sidelined his campaign. As the trailer goes on, Hart is seen getting more and more frustrated with the scandal, exclaiming, “It’s nobody’s business—none of it is!”
Hart was the first candidate that had the news media investigate a scandal of this nature. Eventually, he dropped out of the race, claiming the media was creating too thick a smokescreen for any of his political messages to get through. Before him, journalism was of a separate vein from the gossip of the tabloids. In the trailer, the journalist who followed him to his town house vocalizes the realization that, “It’s up to us to hold these guys accountable.” An employee of a major newspaper, is seen telling his boss, “Just because another newspaper used gossip as front page news, doesn’t mean we have to.” And his boss cuts him off saying, “It does. It does now.” At this point in history, tabloid journalism merged with its political counterpart, and the two two have remained intertwined ever since. Whether right or wrong, that’s just the way it is.
The Front Runner premieres in theaters on Election Day, November 7.