A Touch of “Frost”: Review for “Frost/Nixon”

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Can you think of am exciting storyline? Does it involve two men? Two men talking to each other? Well, if that’s not your idea of a great film, you may want      to think again. Frost/Nixon is based on a Tony award winning play from 2007 that tells the somewhat true story of a humble British TV show host who conducts interviews with the most disgraced President the United States has ever had: Ex-President Richard Nixon. Michael Sheen reprises his role from the play. He plays David Frost, a mild mannered TV show host who is pretty normal. Frank Langella (nominated this year for Best Actor) also reprises his Tony award winning role as Nixon. While prejudice will certainly at first get in the way, Langella brings surprising depth to this character of sorts. One great thing about the two leads is that they aren’t impersonating them. That’s for sure, because I have seen better Nixon impersonations than Langella’s. Michael Sheen is no stranger to playing real people; he played Tony Blair in the Oscar winning film The Queen (whose screenwriter also composed the screenplay for Frost/Nixon). David Frost’s quest to get retrospective interviews with Nixon all starts with getting people interested, which isn’t easy. “Why would this silly TV show host want to do legitimate interviews with the President of the United States?” After finally getting a network to fund some of it, he begins his interviews with Nixon, first talking of China, then of Vietnam, all the while having his teammates doubt the credibility of what would end up being world famous interviews. Nixon drawls on and on about the most boring subjects and takes over twenty minutes to answer one question. But then the topic of Watergate comes up and it makes for a very memorable scene. Nowadays, you can see candidates and current leaders on The Ellen DeGeneres Show or Oprah or see them parodying themselves on Saturday Night Live, but back in the late ’60s, they would only choose the cream of primetime, like Dateline. David Frost might have been the first celebrity-ish interviewer. He was well-known. He was handsome. He was funny. (He’s still alive.) He was the first person that wasn’t part of the media elite to have an interview with a very well known man. This film, also nominated for Best Picture, is great. It doesn’t spun very exciting at first but manages, through interviews with the team and through television segments. Langella is fantastic as the shamed president. He looks like him and sounds like him and plays Nixon as unbiasly as possible. Sheen is equally enjoyable as Frost. Though it may not deserve Best Picture, it certainly is one heck of a film. Very interesting and supremely entertaining.


Grade: A-


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