Sunday, January 4, 2009


Movie name: Frost/Nixon
Year of release: 2008
Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell, Rebecca Hall, Matthew Macfayden, Toby Jones, Kate Jennings Grant, Andy Milder
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Following the highly successful (and highly mediocre) "The DaVinci Code", Ron Howard went in the direction of a stage play, and adapted Peter Morgan's (author of the screenplay of "The Queen" amongst others) "Frost/Nixon". The film follows the interview process that brought together british talk show host David Frost to disgraced ex-president Richard Nixon. We are introduced to David Frost early on, as a talk show host that specializes in fluff (aka, interviews with celebrities, quizzes, contests). When Frost gets the idea of interviewing Richard Nixon, he does so with the intention of recapturing his popularity in the US. After convincing the former president, Frost sets out to secure financial backing for his project. Even though this proves to be a difficult project, Frost starts out the interview process much to the delight of Richard Nixon and his aids, who see the interviews as a way of cleaning the former president's image. The most interesting thing about the film ends up being the dynamics of these two different personalities. One trying to get credibility that he never had and another trying to restore what was lost. David Frost understands that his facile way of charming and getting out of the situations won't help in this situation and Richard Nixon sees his oponent as someone he can intellectually dominate. Ron Howard for once doesn't try to obliterate the edges and create an appealing and all pleasing story (as he does with every single film he touches). The film plays out as a duel with these characters, that are served with two wonderful actors (who were also in the Broadway play in these parts). Frank Langella does a terrific job as Richard Nixon, with the sad and tired look, but also with the shrewdness. Michael Sheen does a good job playing David Frost, with his quick remarks but also with the fear that his stake might fall flat on his face. A film worth checking out.