Having no extensive knowledge, or interest in Richard Nixon, I wasn’t exactly excited to watch Frost/Nixon. All I knew was it was up for a bunch of awards, and I love anything Ron Howard (Cinderella Man) directs. So I decided to give it a chance, and let me be the first to say, it is one of the most compelling movies I have watched in the last few years.
Frank Langella (Masters of the Universe) stars as the only President to resign from office, Richard Nixon. He gives the performance of a lifetime, portraying Nixon as a man haunted by his past decisions, but confident that no one will ever know the truth. Would he ever admit to his wrong doing after being granted a pardon by President Ford for the Watergate scandal? One man dared to attempt to get the truth from him, David Frost. Played flawlessly by Michael Sheen (The Queen), Frost was a man at a crossroads in his career. Continue with sub-par journalism like covering magicians, or make a move by landing the interview of a lifetime? After being turned down by every network in America, and shelling out about two million dollars, mostly out of pocket, Frost gets his interview with Nixon. But Nixon wouldn’t have to answer the most important question, that would fall on Frost. Can he get the answers from Nixon that the nation craves? Or would Nixon outsmart Frost, and weasel his way back into the hearts of a nation he had betrayed?
With an outstanding supporting cast including Kevin Bacon (The Woodsman), Sam Rockwell (Joshua), and Oliver Platt (Martian Child), Frost/Nixon is a true showcase of powerful acting. Langella showcases such pain, and arrogance that it is hard to turn away from the screen when as he brings Nixon to life. Sheen radiates as the playboy Frost, on the brink of either absolute success, or career suicide. The screenplay adapted from the Tony Award winning play Frost/Nixon (also starring Langella and Sheen), brings the events leading up to and surrounding the interviews to the screen in ways our history books never could imagine.
Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer (Beautiful Mind) have continued their success as one of Hollywood’s best duos. Crafting a story set in the 1970’s, it mirrors the political landscape of today. Politics and the media are constantly weaving through one another, but never before has it exploded in the way it did when David Frost interviewed Richard Nixon. After watching the movie, I’m eager to see the actual interview footage, and would urge anyone who enjoys smart, suspenseful movies to give this a chance. You will not regret it.