Monday, 11 June 2018

Frost/Nixon (2008)

I am very ignorant when it comes to American history so whenever I feel like learning something new, I watch historical movies (I love reading but reading about history? Kill me now, please). This time I watched Frost/Nixon because I wanted to know the truth behind the Watergate scandal (and because Sam Rockwell is in it). 

After seeing Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) resigning from the White House, in order to get more credibility and money, British talk show host David Frost (Michael Sheen), who is known for interview Hollywood and pop music stars, decides to set up a series of interviews to confront the questions of the former president's time in office and the Watergate scandal. Nixon agrees as he sees the interviews with the politically inexperienced Frost as a way to redeem himself.

Plot-wise, there's nothing I can complain about Frost/Nixon as it is based on true events. Also, my knowledge of the Watergate scandal is pretty limited and I wasn't even aware of this series of interviews so I'm not really in the position to say whether it is accurate or not. And yet I can say it is a beautifully crafted plot as it was able to hold my attention from the beginning to the end, which is a lot considering I don't have the slightest interest in American history. In spite of the fact that it's "just" an interview, Frost/Nixon never gets even boring as it is filled with tension and suspense (I don't know how I'd feel if I knew how the story would play out though).

The plot, however, isn't very important as Frost/Nixon actually is an intriguing character study of both Frost and Nixon. David Frost is fearless and ambitious and while at first, he is just some shallow entertainer who sees in the former president of the United States his chance to get big ratings, he eventually realises how important to the American people his job is. Richard Nixon, on the other hand, is a fragile, insecure and fearful man who is trying to get back some humanity.

Universal Pictures
Both are made compelling by the actors who portrayed them. Michael Sheen completely disappears into the character of David Frost and does a great job especially in delivering the stress Frost was under, and he makes the transaction from shallow playboy to journalist seriously committed to the job very believable. Frank Langella is terrific as Nixon. I have watched some videos with real Nixon on YouTube and it truly amazed me how well Langella captured every single detail of Nixon's facial expressions and body language.

As for the support, the characters may not be as developed as Frost and Nixon, but the actors give strong performances nevertheless. Kavin Bacon as Nixon's assistant and Sam Rockwell as the journalist determined to make Nixon pay for Watergate are the two standouts, but Oliver Platt and Matthew Macfadyen too do a good job.

10 comments :

  1. I want to see this film because I remember Nixon flashing the Peace sign to the cameras when he left the White house. I also recall, ever so slightly these interviews but don't remember much at all except that they were on tv. I love history so i would like to see this film.

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  2. This has been on HBO/Cinemax lately though I'm still unsure if I plan on watching it as I'm often iffy about Ron Howard as he can make excellent films such as Rush, Apollo 13, and Solo but also total shit like A Beautiful Mind and those Da Vinci Code movies.

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    1. I actually liked A Beautiful Mind and wasn't crazy about Apollo 13. But Rush was great.

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  3. I've never seen this all the way through and I've been meaning too. It ended up in my Netflix queue due to Rockwell a while back.

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    1. So many people watch movies for Rockwell they should award him for it haha.

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  4. This movie is as good as it is because of Sheen and especially Langella. They're great. I hadn't seen the original interviews before watching this, but I knew how it played out and I was still compelled by the movie.

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    1. Yes, those two totally make the movie.

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  5. I'm so glad you liked it! This is one of my all time favorite films. I love all the performances and especially Bacon is so underrated for this one

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