Frost/Nixon: Movie Review
Cast: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Sam Rockwell,
Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon, Matthew Macfadyen, Rebecca Hall
Director: Ron Howard
There's no greater battlefield than politics.
In 1977, a disgraced Richard Nixon agreed to a fluff
piece with British talk-show host David Frost. Nixon's aids viewed the interview
as a potential inroad back into American hearts and politics after the
Frost seemed the most unlikely
of journalists to tackle 'tricky Dicky'. A man more accustomed to interviewing
pop stars, Frost initially chased the interview with hopes of securing high
Naturally his priorities
changed, and Frost found himself in the unenviable position of putting one of
America's most corrupt leaders on trial on television screens worldwide.
Frost/Nixon is released in cinemas at
the perfect time: as the world waits for a much maligned Republican president to
exit office, the story of a former leader being held accountable for
questionable decisions hits the theatres.
Fortunately Ron Howard has redeemed himself for the 'hiccup' that was
The Da Vinci Code .
Frost/Nixon retains many facets of the successful
stage production: playwright Peter Morgan adapted his script for the screen, and
lead actors Frank Langella and Michael Sheen reprise their roles as Nixon and
Frost respectively (Langella won a Tony for his portrayal of Nixon).
Neither are particularly prolific actors, and
obviously their experience was valued over notoriety. It's a wise move:
Frost/Nixon would be lost without their chemistry.
The two are ably supported by Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Sam
Rockwell, Matthew Macfadyen and Rebecca Hall.
this is really Langella and Sheen's film. The two manage to turn a homely 1970s
lounge into a battleground. They take turns playing the hunter and the hunted.
Yet the climax of this battle avoids cliché and sentimentality: has the winner
really won? Would he regard this as a victory?
This is a refreshing change from Howard, a man fond of romanticising
achievement (as seen in Apollo 13 and Cinderella
Multiplexes are crowded with films
that increasingly rely on special effects and brute force to showcase conflict.
Frost/Nixon marks a refreshing change: two guys using nothing
but words to outwit the opponent.
Go see it - now.