Cast includes: Frank Langella (Good Night, and Good Luck), Michael Sheen (The Queen)
Director: Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind)
Genre: Historic based drama
In brief: After Nixon’s resignation and pardon, the American people still wanted an admission of guilt. Nixon was seeking an opportunity to redeem his legacy. Networks made offers for interviews, but Nixon didn’t want to talk about his mistakes… only his accomplishments. When Nixon’s team received an invitation for an interview from an unlikely talk show host, it seemed like the right opportunity. David Frost agreed to pay Nixon a whopping $600,000 for this career-changing interview. It was truly a David-and-Goliath match up… Nixon vs the British, playboy fop who wore Italian shoes… without even a shred of embarrassment. In many circles the match-up was laughable. In the end, the limelight would shine on one of them… but not on both.
The inside story of an interview match-up may not seem like high drama. But the emotional intensity of the Frost/Nixon interview sessions could easily be compared to the drama of watching Rocky Balboa fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world. Both Frost and Nixon had everything at stake. The negotiations, the preparation, the meetings at Nixon’s San Clemente home and the tension among team members were critical plot elements in this well-crafted drama.
If you like your villains totally villainous, Frost/Nixon will disappoint. Nixon was nothing if not complex. Previous films have not seriously attempted to show us the complex and sometimes sympathetic aspects of Nixon’s persona. While this movie takes some liberties with the actual facts, it does present a more balanced… and I would say… more interesting view of Nixon than we’re used to seeing. And it should be noted, if anyone knows how to tell a good story, it’s Ron Howard.
4 popped kernels
Popped kernels for a wonderful script, amazing performances and true tension... even though we know how it turns out.