Writer Peter Morgan's legendary battle between Richard Nixon, the disgraced president with a legacy to save, and David Frost, a jet-setting television personality with a name to make, in the story of the historic encounter that changed both their lives. For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts and minds of Americans (as well as a $600,000 fee). Likewise, Frost's team harbored doubts about their boss' ability to hold his own. But as cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits resulted. Written by
Michael Sheen and Frank Langella are credited simultaneously before the title. Sheen's name is on a lower level, but further to the left; while Langella's is higher up, but pushed to the right. Therefore, depending on whether you read the card top-to-bottom or left-to-right, either actor can be seen as being credited first. See more »
I had the pleasure of watching this gripping movie at the opening night of the British Film festival. Ron Howard's direction and story telling ability are in top form with this effort. From the very first scene a carefully crafted and very credible 70s's atmosphere sets a solid stage for the superbly cast film and quickly transports the viewer into the political jungle that was "Tricky Dickey's" playground.
The acting duo of Frank Langella & Micheal Sheen (Nixon & Frost) are set on a collision course that finds two deeply passionate personalities at the mercy of their insatiable desires. Both actor's portrayals are a study of affectation and body language, pleasurably accurate and yet not simply an impersonation. Indeed, the film never strays from the distinct Howard format that breathes so much life (read intimacy) into this familiar and yet mysterious relationship that exists for so many people who lived through the exceptional event.
Make no mistake, this is by no means a two man show, quite the contrary. In fact, the wealth of supporting roles is perhaps the finest feature of this production. Bacon's devoted and stalwart marine practically glints of gun metal and polished shoe leather. The trio of Gould, Platt and Rockwell portray effortlessly the roles of the men who, brick by brick, constructed the platform from which Frost so successfully and serendipitously elicited one of the greatest unspoken confessions of all time. Rebecca Hall is delicious and demure, constantly filling scenes with her elegant presence.
Perhaps the richest praise should be reserved for Peter Morgan, who has, without question, penned a truly captivating and insightful story that delivers not only a satisfying comprehension of a complex time in US history, but captures a generation's struggle to come to terms with the frailty of leadership that still echoes today.
Not to be missed, this film can be enjoyed on multiple levels and will undoubtedly be regarded as seminal for it's engrossing insight and expert depiction.
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