Scott Marks noon, Jan. 11
The Front Runner
The lighter-than-air unbroken take that opens the picture is director Jason Reitman’s way of demonstrating that he’s inventive enough to do something with his camera other than dangling it before his cast’s faces, which is precisely and unfortunately the main mode of expression he leans on through the rest of the picture. People answer in punchlines here, and leave it to Reitman to always lead with irony. Not one cigarette is smoked in Thank You For Smoking, and here, the most damning piece of evidence hurled against Gary Hart — the National Enquirer cover with Donna Rice parked on his lap — is nowhere in sight. What’s the takeaway? Had we heeded the wisdom of an erudite womanizer, there’d have been no Trump? And all this talk of the real Gary Hart’s plush follicles is moot when all Hugh Jackman has to show for himself is a shaggy sheitel. With Vera Farmiga, wasted in the role of little woman, and J.K. Simmons turning base metal dialogue into gold. 2018.