For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts and minds of Americans. Likewise, Frost's team harboured doubts about their boss's ability to hold his own. But as the cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits resulted.
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After America had found out that our 37th president had been involved in a crime, we wanted to know more about Richard Nixon. After he announced his resignation, he decided to schedule an interview witth a famous interviewer named David Frost where they discussed the Watergate scandal and the end of his presidency and the interviews is what the movie mainly focuses on.
Eventhough this is based on a true story, the movie itself seems so real. The real strength of the movie though is the two leads. They are very powerful as they are not playing Frost and Nixon, they are being Frost and Nixon. Frank Langella, who is Nixon, has a well deserved oscar nomination. But, I think Michael Sheen does even a better job as he is Frost in the most real way possible. This film is also very well edited which is a good element to have for a Oscar contender like this one.
There were scenes in this movie where I said to myself, "Yes, this is interesting, but I want more." Especially during the non-interview scenes. I was hoping Ron Howard could've pulled off a masterpiece by making by making every scene in the movie just as engaging and powerful as the interview scenes.
Overall, Frost/Nixon is a solid, good movie just missing my top 10 best movies of 2008. Eventhough some scenes are not as enthrilling as others, this film is still masterfully acted the whole time. If your into politics or not, Republican or Democrat, you will enjoy this movie.
At The Movie
Frost/Nixon (G) * * * * *
By ROBERT WALDMAN
Feel the heat. Master director Ron Howard (Apollo 13) does it again with Frost/Nixon, a scintillating revelation from Universal Pictures now lighting up audiences and sparking renewed debates at Tinseltown (on Pender, free parking). Lucky British Columbians may have been fortunate enough to take in the live theatre production of this masterful reunion at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre last fall. Brilliant casting that features the two principals from the hit Broadway play ensures a lively encounter for an even larger global audience wanting to relive history and learn something new in a theatrical way..
Again, people get to witness history first hand as we go back in time to see the plight of 37th American President Richard Nixon. Known for a host of issues Nixon will undoubtedly best be remembered for the sordid Watergate affair. Trust a real live British celebrity journalist to take the wrap off of one of the best kept secrets of the century.
Through vintage actual footage of the principals involved in the break-in we are put in the right mood and time frame to carry the exploration further. Now out of office Richard Nixon holes up in California under the watchful eye of Ã¢â‚¬Å“protectorÃ¢â‚¬Â Jack Brennan, an ex officer who will do everything to keep the good (?) name of the former President intact. Through help from local agent Swifty Lazar Nixon decides its time to make a bit of extra cash and maybe set the record straight.
Enter playboy journalist David Frost. Known far and wide for celebrity interviews Frost hones in on the idea of doing an interview with Nixon. Monetary woes aside somehow the smiling Brit cobbles together a group of people to forge a team to get at the truth. Against unbelievable odds Frost manages to snag an interview. What follows is riveting entertainment that takes you behind the scenes to see how this Ã¢â‚¬Å“foreignerÃ¢â‚¬Â manages to put the once most powerful man in the world on the spot. Or does Nixon get the best upper hand on Frost? You be the judge as everything remains in doubt in this sensational movie.
Aided and abetted by a couple of researchers its uncanny to witness Frost go about the preparations for the interview as though this man was just your average television guest. Nothing could be further from the truth as the actual television encounter reams with uncertainty and tension as only its two leads could pull off.
Both Michael Sheen (The Queen) and Frank Langella (Good Night, and Good Luck) are outstanding as Frost and Nixon. Though Langella is earning raves for his portrayal of Nixon with an Oscar nomination surely in the bag I feel that it truly is Sheen who pulls off just a masterful portrayal as a maligned foreigner who must wrestle with a host of emotions and uncertainties to try to get at the truth. Whether he does or doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t is a sight to behold.
Extremely clever casting of the supporting players helps turn Frost/Nixon into one of the best movies of any year. Kevin Bacon (Mystic River) dusts off his military past to convey all the best qualities needed for a friend in need as Jack Brennan, chief aide to Nixon while Sam Rockwell (Matchstick Men) is ideal as the champion of the underdog /truth seeking James Reston, Jr. a man out to bag the biggest catch of his life with daggers waiting.
Smart and effective, Frost/Nixon again shows just how good a director Ron Howard is. Who would have every guessed that little Opie could have turned into one of the best filmmakers of his or any other time.
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