|Page 4 of 25:||             |
|Index||242 reviews in total|
The relevance of this film today may be sadly overlooked. As the
current President of the United States (George W. Bush) ends his tenure
with his country disillusioned, in debt, at war, and in disarray, one
cannot help but compare him to the late Richard Nixon. Strangely, the
older politician, now dead and buried for over a decade, seems much
more the intellectual statesman. Nixon has always seemed the darker
man, the loner in the Oval Office, as compared to Bush, the
happy-go-lucky Texan. While the former suffered from the same malady of
self-importance, at least he would ponder positive foreign affairs
decisions before creating his political enemy's list. The latter would
rather snap celebrity photos with endearing fans than answer tough
questions about foreign policy. Leave that to Cheney. Both Nixon and
Bush seemed to suffer from the same kind of self-aggrandizement that
put the country and the world at tremendous risk. One lost the
presidency for his flaws, the other lost nothing personally, except the
well-being and respect of his nation.
Frost/Nixon, filmed in semi-documentary style by Ron Howard, is about the elder statesman Nixon revealing himself and his enigmatic heart of hearts to his country and the world via a relatively lightweight British interviewer, David Frost. Overnight, Frost has to remake himself from a chatty interviewer like Jay Leno into a tough interrogator like Mike Wallace. Both men have a lot at stake. According to the film, Frost's career has stagnated and he desperately needs a large breakthrough in media to be taken seriously. And he has shoved most of his personal capital into the project. Nixon was never tried for Watergate and therefore never had a platform from which his case was heard. The Frost interviews becomes Nixon's witness stand, and the television his courtroom.
The acting in this film is some of the finest of all the Oscar contenders of 2008, probably because Sheen and Langella re-prised their roles from the Broadway and London stage-play of the same name. For well over 30 years, Frank Langella has been quietly forging an acting career that has had sparse recognition for the quality of his work. In short, he is one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated talents in Hollywood films, until now. This film has allowed Langella's acting range and versatility to glow into THE performance of 2008. Langella literally becomes Nixon, shaping his subtle mannerisms and guttural tone. And yet, Langella does even one better. He somehow shapes Nixon's attitudes as if he understood who Nixon was on the inside as well as the outside. Good actors can mimic facial expressions. It takes a superb acting of uncommon ability to portray the inner qualities of his/her subject. Langella brings forth the inner Nixon in the same way that the real David Frost did 30 years ago.
Equally superb is the portrayal of David Frost by Michael Sheen. Similar to Langella, Sheen also brings forth the inner Frost, the sort of sexy rock star interviewer who must turn into something he has never been: a tough journalist probing the inner meat of his interviewee. The film very slowly shows us the transition of Frost into the kind of journalist he had to become in order to face Richard Nixon. No American president is easily knocked down and left bare by the likes of a journalist, and Nixon was no exception. Frost had to have an arsenal of not just tough questions but tough responses if he was going to be able to bring out the inner soul of Nixon. Frost had to discard the chatty sensibility of a Jay Leno or David Letterman and transform himself into the passionate journalist of a Mike Wallace or Christiane Amanpour.
A superb film and relevant to the current state of American politics. Nixon had to come clean and Frost was both his judge and his confessor, partially because the former president had resigned. The current president (as of 1/07/09), despite eight years of abuse of power, leaves the office without the stain of impeachment. He will probably never have to answer to a David Frost or a Mike Wallace. What a pity.
I enjoyed Oliver Stone's "Nixon" and Anthony Hopkins' Oscar nominated
portrayal was very good, yet the role was a largely negative version of
the man. It was all deep paranoia and dark conspiracy, without any hint
as to why Nixon was twice elected to the the highest office in the
land, the 2nd time by one of the largest landslides in U.S. history.
Ron Howard's "Frost/Nixon" is a fascinating view of Nixon through the perspective of the David Frost interviews. Langella's portrayal captures the insecurity and paranoia of Nixon, but also reveals a more intelligent and engaging aspect of him during his post Watergate years. I suppose this will automatically disqualify Langella from any chance of an Oscar nomination. I hope this isn't the case, because Langella's performance is on par with Helen Mirren's in "The Queen", maybe even better.
Ron Howard deserves kudos for directing this excellent movie. He's become one of Hollywood's best Directors of historical dramas. The supporting cast was great, Michael Sheen as David Frost was outstanding, and everyone else was excellent.
A truly outstanding film and for anyone with an interest in recent American history, not to be missed.
Although this film is the adaptation of a stage play (by Peter Morgan)
about the making of a series of television interviews in 1977 between
hotshot but lightweight British interviewer David Frost and Richard
Milhous Nixon, disgraced ex-President of the United States, the stage
origins do not show. Good use is made of close-ups and the naturalistic
settings. However the minor characters remain minor and what we have in
essence is a duel. Frost, prodded by his researchers is trying to get
Nixon to confess to his Watergate misdemeanours (some might say
felonies), and Nixon is fighting while he still can to salvage his
shredded reputation. It is a tense and exciting battle.
David Frost himself, although appreciative of the attention, apparently thinks that he was incorrectly portrayed as inexperienced he had already interviewed Ronald Reagan, Robert Kennedy, Harold Wilson and Ted Heath but Michael Sheen, a noted Tony Blair impersonator as Frost, has got him down pat. Frost is youthful, eager, determined, and at times desperate, as the whole enterprise, which he has largely funded (none of the American TV networks would participate in the production), seems to be heading towards the rocks. His researchers, particularly the dislikeable James Reston Jr are keen to nail Nixon, but the "smoking gun", a taped conversation with an aide, does not emerge until late in the piece.
Some license has been taken with the facts, for example the revealing telephone conversation between the two the night before the final interview session is entirely fictitious, but it reveals a great deal about what the two men thought of each other. The emphasis on Frost's social life and girlfriends is exaggerated, but there is a point to it Nixon's obvious envy and social ineptitude. Frank Langdell's Nixon, heavy in defeat, is finely drawn and he evokes some sympathy. In the actual interview Nixon avoided being pathetic and was a good deal more chipper.
As entertainment, Ron Howard's film succeeds very well, but it does not add much to what we know about the Nixon presidency, or Watergate. I continue to be amazed how people with such obvious personal shortcomings can be elected to high office, but it has to be admitted that some Richard Nixon's foreign policies (eg China) were better than some of his successors, even if he was lying when he said "I am not a crook".
Movies centered on politics are often interesting on an intellectual
level, but never has a film of such an ilk been so thoroughly
entertaining. Director Ron Howard's adaptation of the stage play of the
same name, manages to both stay loyal to the true events that served as
inspiration, yet infuses it with life and achieves the utmost level of
satisfaction without compromising the rich and weighty subject matter.
Infused with sensational performances throughout, Howard has delivered
what I think is his best film yet.
Beginning with President Richard Nixon's (Frank Langella reprising his role from the play) resignation following the Watergate scandal, the movie jumps to a few years later where the ex-president has been demoted to giving talks at luncheons, and interviews for money. Meanwhile down under in Australia, a wildly popular talk show host named David Frost (Michael Sheen) comes up with the ultimate publicity stunt; winch out the confession the American people never got from their former president. Nixon has other plans however, seeing only easy money for answering some fluff questions over a four day period. Frost assembles a team of researchers and experts including Sam Rockwell as James Reston Jr., Mathew McFayden as John Burt and Oliver Platt as Bob Zelnick to ensure his suave defeat of his opponent and secure their place in infamy.
Frost/Nixon succeeds in overcoming a number of hurdles. It flourishes, even if you have no knowledge of the events of Watergate, or have no interest in American politics, but will thrill those who do. From what I understand, certain liberties were taken with the facts surrounding the endlessly notorious interviews, but more often then not, Frost/Nixon is less of a political film, then it is a sword and shield bout to the death; an intense duel between these two intellectuals, and how their confidence and overconfidence sways the interviews in both their favours before the gripping final outcome
Frank Langella is sure to get an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the infamous president, but Michael Sheen should by no means be overlooked. He is equally solid, and to some extent has the more difficult role; in keeping his own against the veteran stage actors larger then life embodiment of the president. We also get fantastic supporting work from Kevin Bacon as Nixon's aid who's two-fold admiration and quiet pity and embarrassment is tragic and very affecting. From a visual standpoint, Howard's film is glossy and superbly shot without feeling to large in its scope. It is intimate and immediate with a keen sense of the times.
Perhaps the biggest achievement of the movie is the handling of the Nixon character. Howard manages to capture both his corruptness and smug pompousness while showing him as a true human; with some sympathy but mostly just not as a faceless monster and without a blunt bias. So don't be turned away simply because of the films 'political' backbone, because Frost/Nixon is some of the most simultaneously intelligent and entertaining film-making of the decade.
9.5 / 10.0
Read all my reviews at : http://simonsaysmovies.blogspot.com
A perfect gathering of unbeatable artists who can make a role forever
remembered. This film really makes a true bid to the actual events
which happened. Even though its a full reel of conversations and
emotional drama, I enjoyed this through out. Always Ron Howrad has been
amazing in creating films which has huge acting output. Like A
beautiful mind, Da vinci code etc. Like those this is one of his finest
product. The major attraction of this movie taken away by Frank
Langella & Micheal Sheen, I really admire Frank Langella's acting in
this, its so emotional and real. As the character goes by the exact
emotional reflections can be taken out from his face. Kevin Bacon,
Oliver Platt and every other cast did their part very well, in the
matter of acting the movie goes up in the air for the dedication
8 out of 10
Frost/Nixon was captivating the whole way through. It was a competition
between two men, a political outsider and insider both looking to use
the media to advance their careers.
The film does fawn Frost's legacy though. In real life, Nixon's admission to his crimes was a decision he had planned rather than one that Frost maneuvered out of him. Langella's portrayal of Nixon was uncannily accurate, except his Nixon was far more empathetic than the real one.
Some bits of fiction were questionable. The shoe scene was pure Hollywood. Nixon's drunk call never happened, but it shed light on the insecurities and motivations that the real life Nixon faced. Nixon got into politics because he was constantly bullied and stepped as a young adult. The line between education and entertainment was certainly crossed, but it's a really engrossing watch nonetheless.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Frost / Nixon (2008): Dir: Ron Howard / Cast: Michael Sheen, Frank Langella, Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Oliver Platt: Another triumph by director Ron Howard whose range of films go from Apollo 13 to The Paper. Here he presents a film that examines the relationship between ex-President Richard Nixon and talk show host David Frost. It examines how the series of interviews saved Frost's career and all but exposed Nixon's Watergate ordeal. Frank Langella does a superb impression of Nixon who is seen here as someone continuing on with life while still yearning to be heard and respected. Michael Sheen shines as Frost who not only accepts the opportunity to revamp his career, he also gains an in depth relationship with an ex- President that has been the subject of more speculation and curiosity than most. Is the film seen as a confession, or just a reminder that he is merely human? Kevin Bacon appears as one of Nixon's advisers, and Sam Rockwell appears as part of Frost's research team who hates Nixon and feels that the interviews should be the trial he never received. This is a great film with insight for the scholars and the curios alike, and succeeds in being one of the best films of the year. For another great film on the subject I recommend strongly All the President's Men, otherwise this is a provocative film gives insight into a failed Presidency. Score: 10 / 10
So after years of only hearing or reading about this, I finally got to see this on Netflix disc with my mom who was also enthralled by this dramatized account of the behind-the-scenes saga of TV talk show host David Frost's interview of former president Richard Nixon. Michael Sheen as Frost and Frank Langella as Nixon-both reprising their stage roles-are very compelling as these real-life people. Frost is quite successful doing shows in England and Australia and thinks an interview with the disgraced president would lead to big numbers. Nixon just wants a chance to redeem himself when agreeing to this interview. Director Ron Howard really does a fine job of opening Peter Morgan's play cinematically with Morgan himself adapting it. Along with Sheen and Langella, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell, and Kevin Bacon also do well in supporting roles. And when that interview reaches the climax, well, it's quite a revelation seeing both the president make that statement he does and his and Frost's reaction to it. In summary, Frost/Nixon is quite an entertaining take on such a historical event.
Director Ron Howard brings an appreciable cinematic flair to Peter
Morgans' adaptation of his own stage play. It tells the true story of
the disgraced former U.S. president Richard M. Nixon (Frank Langella),
who is courted for a series of interviews by upbeat, likable British TV
host David Frost (Michael Sheen). Nixon and his loyalists see this as
an opportunity for him to repair the damage done to his reputation.
Frost, on the other hand, is looking to gain some credibility from the
venture. He's humiliated by the smooth, experienced politician at first
due to not quite taking his own opportunity seriously enough.
Obviously, the segment that will make or break the experience for Frost
will be how the two men handle the topic of Watergate.
This is fascinating, interesting stuff, especially for a viewer such as this who is not terribly informed on the subject. It's a good look into the machinations of both politics and TV journalism. A great film it is not, but it's solidly entertaining for just over two hours. One of the best things that it does is to put a human face on Mr. Nixon, who could, to some people, be written off as a mere cartoon sleaze ball. Even in the face of his misdeeds, it is possible to take some sympathy on this man whom many in the nation simply want to see confess and apologize.
"Frost/Nixon" is one of those films for this viewer where any slickness on the part of the filmmakers takes a back seat - and rightly so - to the power of the material. It's brought to life by a superb cast. Langella and Sheen anchor the story with two very convincing portrayals, and Kevin Bacon, Matthew Macfadyen, Oliver Platt, Toby Jones, Patty McCormack (as Pat Nixon), Rons' brother & father (and frequent repertory players) Clint and Rance Howard, and Eloy Casadaos offer indelible support. Rebecca Hall is lovely and appealing as Caroline, a gal who catches Frosts' eye, but the character isn't really important in the developing plot of this film.
A worthy viewing for some people, but surely it would have even more resonance for people who lived through this tale and remember the key players.
Eight out of 10.
It's an interview where the president is interviewed for his crimes.
Now, this is a kind of movie that made me doze off, it seemed like a character study with a historical background. A man has done something wrong and it's all up to few other people to make him accept the crime or make him guilty. Now, Nixon was the president of USA and he was the only president to have resigned in 1974 for being part of a Watergate scandal.
It's a beginning of a fall, and a fall of a president has to be interesting or at least there has to be substantial interest. Ron Howard creates that interest by making this film like a Network kind of film, where media and the impact of media plays a huge role in determining the character of a person. You are what you you say more than you are what you do, this seems to be an undercurrent theme in this media run movie.
Acted competently by Michael Sheen as David Frost, the man who interviewed the president Richard Nixon, played by Frank Langella. These two performances are enough to make it go and see it. Having said that, it's their dialogue that has lot many details that make us sit and observe and then they do not help us conclude but rather confuse us what is right and what is wrong. Maybe, the point was to show that we are grey and not black and white, fair enough and if that's the point surely it was well made.
Ron Howard as a director seems to be great at such Historical Dramas, be it Apollo 13 or Beautiful Mind or Cinderella Man. This one is no surprise and definitely it's a good film and indeed worth a watch for its screenplay and dialogue and acting more than anything else.
The production design was good, the editing could have been better for a near 2 hour film that is all about an interview where lot many details are revealed. It's not a film where we can relate to, it neither one that is entertaining and makes us sit and watch, it's one that is simply made for showing us the brain behind a deed or rather misdeed.
A 3/5 for definitely good film but I am sorry coz it did not work for me. Maybe, I am not interested in the politics involved in the film.
|Page 4 of 25:||             |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||External reviews||Parents Guide|
|Official site||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|