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Trailer for “The Front Runner” and Buzz from Telluride suggest another Oscar player for Jason Reitman

Over the weekend, the Telluride Film Festival provided a window into some of the potential Academy Award hopefuls that will be dominating our radar this year. One of the timeliest contenders to hit the mountains of Colorado happened to also drop a Trailer just a few days ago. It’s the latest from filmmaker Jason Reitman, the political biopic The Front Runner. Reviews were solid, suggesting star Hugh Jackman could be a force in the Best Actor race. Plus, with how timely the movie is, Best Picture may also end up a possibility, nomination wise. Those of you who follow the site and my predictions will know that I’ve been bullish on this one for a long time now. We’ll get into its chances in a bit, and you’ll also be able to see the Trailer below, but first…some discussion, as always.

The film is a look at politician Gary Hart (Jackman), both in terms of his meteoric rise, as well as his tragic fall. The simple IMDb synopsis is as follows: “American Senator Gary Hart’s presidential campaign in 1988 is derailed when he’s caught in a scandalous love affair.” Senator Hart represented Colorado but went into the 1988 election the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for President. Alongside his wife Lee (Vera Farmiga), he appeared assured of the White House. Then, scandal broke. In many ways, Hart set the stage for scandals to follow, as well as began numbing us to the bad behavior of those in power. As such, it certainly seems like a tale with modern day parallels. Reitman co-writes with Matt Bai (based on his book) and Jay Carson, as well as directs. The ensemble supporting cast includes Bill Burr, Kaitlyn Dever, Ari Graynor, Alfred Molina, Sara Paxton, Kevin Pollak, J.K. Simmons, and many more. Rob Simonsen provides the score, while Eric Steelberg handles the cinematography.

Between the Trailer and the festival buzz, this flick looks to have a ton of potential. Jackman in particular has gotten the best word of mouth out of screenings, though Farmiga and Simmons have been praised as well. There have been some detractors, but a number of folks have compared Reitman’s work here to that of Robert Altman, and that’s high praise. Plus, the Trailer is dynamite. If you love a juicy political tale, this looks to really have the goods. All told, it suggests something that the Academy could be interested in. So, why don’t we move on to that part of the equation for the film? Tis the season, after all…

Speaking of Oscar voters, The Front Runner could be right up their alley. Certainly, Sony Pictures will put together a robust campaign, featuring efforts in Best Picture, Best Director (for Reitman), Best Actor (for Jackman), Best Supporting Actor (for Simmons), Best Supporting Actress (for Farmiga), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Bai, Carson, and Reitman), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing. Right now, Jackman in Actor and Farmiga in Supporting Actress seem like the best bets, though don’t count out the movie in Picture or Adapted Screenplay either. It could really end up appealing to members of the Academy. We’ll just have to wait and see how the precursors turn out.

You all can see the Trailer for The Front Runner next. It opens up in limited release on November 7th (yes, Election Day), before going wide two weeks later on the 21st. There’s no telling quite how this one will do during awards season, but there’s no doubt that it’s a contender to keep a close eye on. Even if Oscar doesn’t go for it, the word is that it’ll appeal to those who are knee deep in the political world. For me, it sounds ideal. Your mileage may vary, but time will tell. For now, take a gander at the Trailer and sit tight for plenty more on the movie…

Here now is the Trailer for The Front Runner:

Stay tuned for more on this one between now and its Election Day release date!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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