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|Index||235 reviews in total|
Well crafted film about a true story about a man seeking a big truth
from the most powerful figure on the planet for it's time, the
president of the United States over the Watergate scandal. Now I can
tell why this film didn't do so well, although like I said, it's well
crafted. Because some people are just not interested in American
history and the truth isn't as fun or entertaining as fictional stuff.
It's a involving film and everyone of the cast put on a good and some
great performances, although I didn't particularly found Frank Langella
to be playing Nixon, although his acting was pretty good. He did make
it believable that the character he is playing is arrogant and loves
his position of being in power and being in control and how his
character would do and say almost anything to win. Michael Sheen is
almost perfect with his performance playing David Frost. While starting
off as a bit naive and friendly interviewer, turn into someone that
starts using his wits and starts to play rough since his opponent who
he is interviewing plays rough. This film shows power and money effects
a lot of people, and how when a person holds a lot of power it leads to
more greed and corruption. The only reason Richard Nixon decided to do
the interview was because David Frost offers him $600,000 which is a
big risk for Frost cause if the interview fails and isn't able to get
the truth out of Nixon, his career will be in major jeopardy or even
over. One of the most famous interview in history and all the work it
had to get to certain points of that interview was interesting to
watch. Now this isn't a film I would watch over and over again, but for
the first time around it was actually quite intriguing. I especially
like how it went in a direction where it's not about good against evil
or anything along that line, but more about the fall of a man with
feelings such as guilt that has went for the temptation instead of
doing the right thing. Well done and compelling drama of a film, also
somewhat entertaining. I also enjoyed Kevin Bacon's performance in this
film playing the president's loyal lapdog.
Now, apart from the wobbly camera shouting, "Documentary! Realistic!"
in a couple of scenes, this is a perfectly executed film, with the
director sharply focused on the art of story-telling in a motion
picture. Mr. Howard has found incredible focus, and uses his strength
as an "actor's director" to full advantage - the performances of
co-stars Frank Langella (Nixon) and Michael Sheen (Frost) are a tribute
to themselves and the Howard's keen orchestration. And, there is a
great ensemble around the leads, with Sam Rockwell and Kevin Bacon
preaching to the "liberal" and "conservative" choirs.
Probably, the most extraordinary thing about "Frost/Nixon" can be witnessed in Mr. Langella's characterization.
Langella doesn't waste time trying to impersonate Nixon; instead, he finds a character very much like him, who happens to fit both the story being told and our impression of what Nixon could have been like, in this context. It's not Nixon, but an amazing facsimile. Less well known, but closer to the mark is Mr. Sheen's portrayal of a talk show host who could never mask the phoniness with which he proclaimed each guest's latest project as a "Smashing!" success. Frost would have preferred to compliment the "simply marvelous" furniture on the deck of the Titanic, which is why Nixon picked him.
A full pardon to conspiring writer Peter Morgan. "The play's the thing, wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King."
"Frost/Nixon" comes along when director Howard wielded a lot of power over the small pool of potential great film projects available, and a fine-looking production was assured - nevertheless, you expected the finished product to also maintain a sleek, almost regrettable safeness. And, this film, like it or not, elevates both of its character subjects - Richard M. Nixon and David Frost - along with their mutually beneficial "mini-series" of interviews to an undeserved legendary status. That it fails factually and may unfortunately blur historical perceptions is beside the point - it's still an excellent film.
********* Frost/Nixon (10/15/08) Ron Howard ~ Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Sam Rockwell, Kevin Bacon
Frost/Nixon is a stage play by Peter Morgan, which is based on the
series of televised interviews involving US President Richard Nixon and
television presenter David Frost back in 1977. Ron Howard adapts from
the stage version with Peter Morgan writing the screenplay, so there's
this authenticity that comes along with it, and of course the principal
titular characters of Frost and Nixon played by their stage
incarnations Michael Sheen and Frank Langella.
This film though didn't manage to garner a theatrical release here, because distributors are probably of the opinion that nobody in Singapore would be interested to watch a dramatized piece of history involving an ex-President and a flamboyant presenter, but I suppose they had probably missed the point why this film was made, as Ron Howard had mentioned, bear some close resemblance to history repeating itself during the Bush Administration and the parallels of abuses of power. Even if not so, then Ron Howard should be pedigree enough since he had crafted an engaging and engrossing film based upon the successful Broadway run.
It's very much an examination into the two gladiators' minds, in their preparation and research before the big fight. And of course they don't go into it alone, each having assembled a team to prepare dossiers on the other, as well as the assembly of facts, figures and the pre-empting of what questions can be asked, and how best to deflect them or diffuse their intent and meaning. This we see expertly delivered by the Nixon camp led by Kevin Bacon's Chief of Staff Jack Brennan, in advice such as rambling to time-waste, much to the frustration of the Frost camp, with Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell and Rebecca Hall all providing top notch performances as real life characters.
Besides the obvious political jabs during the interviews, what's interesting is to note what goes on behind the making of a high risk show, without the confirmation of revenue streams since no networks want to touch it. You can imagine the immense pressure David Frost is under, and Michael Sheen performed admirably in this role, and frankly I think Sheen is fast becoming one of my favourite actors with his uncanny ability to embody each role that his plays with aplomb, with historical characters even being nothing impossible to tackle. His Frost has a very vulnerable side to it and Ron Howard dwells on this a lot, to bring us the challenges that he faced with the multiple roles he has to play, in addition to secure funding.
For Nixon, it's an opportunity to get himself back into popular spotlight and telling things from his perspective, which the general public is finding it difficult to accept, if at all. Ron Howard had to focus on the differences in personalities between the two men, and Frank Langella rings through a performance that is not a conscious impersonation, but close enough to be convinced it's Nixon on screen. That deep baritone voice also brings about a very stately persona, and like one of the characters quipped, brings about a certain sex appeal (!)
Frost/Nixon is a top notch film with top notch performances, with qualities that at times resemble a documentary especially with its interviews with the support characters about the entire episode. For interviewers wannabe, this is a film that you'll probably want to have a look at, in understanding the necessity in formulating a water-tight yet flexible strategy about wrestling and releasing control with the interviewee, the study of body languages, and the importance of the informalities and the back channels in communication which is crucial for the interviewer, or subject even, especially with how off the cuff remarks can just disarm the most prepared.
An enjoyable film that featured two dynamic actors and performances. The slow build-up to the interviews and the retrospectives from different parties make us as an audience eager for the initial showdown. How the interviews finally play out are nothing short of engaging, riveting, and calculating. Langella secured his Oscar nod with a performance ranging from electric and crackling to subdued and humbled. Sheen plays off him when needed and does show a wide range of emotion over the course of the film as you can see how the interviews take their toll on him mentally. Overall, two great performances in a film that I hope gets it's deserved recognition come Award time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched the Frost/Nixon movie directed by the much loved Ron Howard who gave us exciting dramas like the Apollo 13 and Beautiful Mind. Midway through the movie i felt so much captivated by the performance of Frank Langella that it left me wondering why had not anybody given such a brilliant actor a chance to prove his prowess earlier. With his deep voice and mesmerizing charisma, he dominates the movie even when he is put down on his knees. Gives us a very new perspective on Richard Nixon and proves the point that President of the US had a quality. A very good contender for the Oscar best movie category, it already has bagged Golden Globe and SAG nominations. More than the movie Frank Langella is the top choice for best actor. Supporting actors like Michael Sheen, Sam Rockwell have done their part very well. Overall the movie is extremely good.
Quite honestly, Frost/Nixon is a movie that, based on the trailers and
other promos, looked somewhat tedious. I should have known better.
Thanks to the skilled direction of Ron Howard and the extraordinary
acting of both Frank Langella and Michael Sheen, this is the best
exploration of the workings and motivations of a U.S. President that I
have ever seen.
The story follows David Frost, a comedic television host whose career is on thin ice, as he attempts to setup a televised interview of then ex- President Richard Nixon. His initial motivation is clearly anchored in the projected ratings/financial gain that would come from the four part series, but, with aid received from a pair of academics, one of whom is played by Sam Rockwell (who has recently had two great roles, including his stint in Moon), Frost begins to see the achievement that could be obtained if he's able to break down some figurative walls and broach the topic of Watergate as no one else had been able to do. People are skeptical of Frost's ability to effectively interview the troubled, often evasive Nixon, and, to add insult to injury, the funding for the projectwhich is acquired through the solicitation of various sponsors begins to dissolve mid-interview.
Howard approaches Frost/Nixon, taken from a stage play bearing the same name, as if it is a documentary. The story is clearly told from the various perspectives of the major players involved in the process of making the interview a reality, and, as boring as that may sound, it works incredibly well here. The show-stopper, however (as you've probably guessed), is Langella's portrayal of Nixon.
Through his facial expressions, the depiction of Nixon's characteristic tendency to sweat when agitated, and the delivery of his dialogue, we learn a a great deal about a fascinating historical figure. There's an especially hair-raising scene when Nixon, who had been decimating Frost in the interviews, calls his adversary the day before their final interview session. Nixon had been drinking, and he goes on a tirade in which he discloses his motivations, his fears, and his thoughts on life. For me, this, more than any other scene (except, perhaps, the final interview) is where Langella is really able to flex his acting "chops" and show us what he's got. He paints a portrait of Nixon as a deeply troubled individual who wants nothing more than to show those who said he wouldn't be able to ascend to the top that they're wrong. Here, Langella injects Nixon with a an almost tangible lust for power and scarily reveals his intolerance for any sort of resistance. Earlier in the film, we also witness the greed stewing in the former President, when his PR/marketing assistant, Swifty Lazar, expertly depicted by Toby Jones, mentions the amount of monetary compensation he'll receive if he decides to participate in the interviews. Nixon interestedly raises one eyebrow and quickly recants his desire to abstain from participation in interviews. Oddly, though, Nixon is humanized at the film's conclusion we get a clear sense of the loneliness associated with one person's determined ascent to power. This is a move that some may find disconcerting, but it feels completely natural, so Howard won't get any complaints from me.
If you haven't already done so, add this to your Netflix queue. You won't regret it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hollywood heavyweight Ron Howard adapts playwright Peter Morgan's West
End hit for the silver screen with this feature focusing on the 1977
television interviews between British journalist David Frost and former
president of the United States,Richard Nixon in the movie,Frost/Nixon.
It is a historical drama film dramatizes the Frost/Nixon interviews of
1977.It stars Michael Sheen Frost and Frank Langella as former
At the time Nixon sat down with Frost to discuss the sordid details that ultimately derailed his presidency, it had been three years since the former commander in chief had been forced out of office in '77. The Watergate scandal was still fresh in everyone's minds, and he had remained notoriously tight-lipped until he agreed to sit down with Frost. Nixon was certain that he could hold his own opposite the up-and- coming British broadcaster, and even Frost's own people weren't quite sure their boss was ready for such a high-profile interview. When the interview ultimately got under way and each man eschewed the typical posturing in favor of the simple truth, fans and critics on both sides were stunned by what they witnessed. Instead of Nixon stonewalling the interviewer as expected, or Frost lobbing softballs as the truth-seekers feared, what emerged was an unguardedly honest exchange between a man who had lost everything and another with everything to gain.At the time Nixon sat down with Frost to discuss the sordid details that ultimately derailed his presidency, it had been three years since the former commander in chief had been forced out of office. The Watergate scandal was still fresh in everyone's minds, and Nixon had remained notoriously tight-lipped until he agreed to sit down with Frost. Nixon was certain that he could hold his own opposite the up-and-coming British broadcaster, and even Frost's own people weren't quite sure their boss was ready for such a high-profile interview. When the interview ultimately got under way and each man eschewed the typical posturing in favor of the simple truth, fans and critics on both sides were stunned by what they witnessed. Instead of Nixon stonewalling the interviewer as expected, or Frost lobbing softballs as the truth-seekers feared, what emerged was an unguardedly honest exchange between a man who had lost everything and another with everything to gain.
The film excels in recreating that landmark interview and the behind- the-scenes look at the power struggles between the two people.Also,it tells us how the former president was able to come up with memorable quotes such as "When the President does it,that means it's not illegal" through the British broadcaster's interviewing skills.Also,Ron Howard succeeds in providing interest to the viewer in a rather mundane,ordinary and not-so-interesting interview that makes the movie engaging,absorbing and worth watching. With respect to the performances of the actors,Langella excels in not mimicking the former president but rather in trying to bring the his natural personality and demeanor. In summary,Frost/Nixon succeeds in providing an unlikely tension and suspense in an unforgettable event.
There he is, former President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella), at the
end of his political life. It has been a few months since Watergate and
his resignation and he has been reduced to being a guest speaker at
low-profile conferences. Cue David Frost (Michael Sheen): The British
talk show host is known for interviewing the crème de la crème of
Hollywood and pop music and hosting shows about escape artists. With
virtually no credentials in political journalism, he still decides to
take on what could be considered the most important interview of the
time. It's Richard Nixon's first big post-Watergate talk. Because money
talks and also because Frost seems to be a safe bet as a soft-hitting
interviewer to Nixon's team, he gets the job. Frost ends up "giving
Richard Nixon the trial he never had," as Sam Rockwell's character puts
"Trial" is definitely the operative word here. "Frost/Nixon," which re-tells the story of one of the most memorable interviews in American history, plays like a cross between a boxing match and the best courtroom drama you have ever seen. It centers, of course, on the interviews themselves but also allows a glance backstage. You get to see how both parties prepare for the interviews, which is actually a bit like preparing for a boxing match, and what strain they are under. Nixon wants to rehabilitate himself. Frost needs the interviews to be spectacular, mostly because he has problems selling them to TV stations.
Above all, "Frost/Nixon" has the feel of a highly enjoyable play which after all, is where it originated. Still, it transforms seamlessly to the screen, mostly because of the excellent performances by Langella and Sheen. Even though Langella has been accused of "overdoing" his Nixon, he succeeds in capturing the spirit of the 37th U.S. president and has rightfully earned an Oscar nomination. The difficulty of accuracy versus artistic interpretation of the material is the same here as with all biopics and "true stories," or even more so, seeing as everyone can go back and look at the real Frost/Nixon interviews. Director Ron Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan, whose work includes "The Queen," succeed in finding a balance between realism and Hollywood-esquire appeal to audiences.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Frost/Nixon is clearly a film that was designed to get awards and
recognition for its actors and writer Peter Morgan.
Frost/Nixon is based on the stage play written by Peter Morgan, which was about the British TV interviewer David Frost (Michael Sheen) who interviews degraded ex-American President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella). Frost in the mid 70s was a successful talk show host in Britain and Australia, but was famous for interviewing celebrities and light entertainment segments. When Nixon resigns Frost has the brainwave of having a series of interviews with the ex-President. To do this Frost had to offer an unprecedented amount of money, $600,000. Richard Nixon sees this as an opportunity to rebuild his reputation and at the same time get interviewed what he sees as a lightweight. Frost struggles to sell the idea to the American networks because of the cost and he was fairly unknown to the American audience. He has to risk his own reputation and money to make such the project could be done. As well Frost hired two researchers, Bob Zelnick (Oliver Platt) and James Reston Jr. (Sam Rockwell). Reston has a big chip on his shoulder, disliking Nixon because of his abuse of power and role during the Vietnam War, and he wanted Frost to be as touch as possible against Nixon. When the interviews start Nixon was able to run rings around Frost, using his friendship to play mind games and Frost's inexperience with interviewing major political figures, but slowly gains his strength and starts to challenge Nixon.
As I have started it is an actor's film. Michael Sheen is an excellent British actor, famous for playing Tony Blair twice and is likely to more weighty projects. Frank Langella also offered the best performance of Richard Nixon since Anthony Hopkins. Both men starred in the stage play and so were were obvious choices for the film, and I personally think both men are likely to get nominated for Oscar. Unfortunately I doubt whoever gets nominated for best Supporting Actors (most likely Langella), they won't get the awards because of the pressure for Heath Leadger to get the award. Other supporting actors in the film also offered excellent performers. I personal hope Matthew Macfadyen has a good career ahead of him and I hope he becomes James Bond after Daniel Craig's run. Rockwell and Platt were also passionate during their performances. The writing was sharp and at times witty. It is deep with the ideas of politics, power, the media and the seventies, and I favour Peter Morgan is a strong contender for the Oscar best Adapted Screenplay. The film does show Nixon in a negative light at first, making him out to have a sense of grandeur about himself and belief that he was in the right. He was also greedy, wanting money and wanting to security his legacy. But at the end Nixon is shown to be human and that he does have a friendship with David Frost. However I did not like the documentary talking head style that was used, feeling it was a little lazy and the film does take a little artistic license. Ron Howard got the character of the seventies right, offered a balance film and was a good hand behind the camera. I would like to see more films like this from him, but I doubt he would get an Oscar nod this time round. As well this film is also likely to get an Oscar nomination for Best Film, but this awards season has offered some strong films. Hopefully Frost/Nixon should win one or two awards.
A strong recommendation from me.
Good movie, but as stated they took some real license to paint the
revisionist liberal narrative of Nixon: 1. The financial deal made for
the interviews was agreed to and lucrative for both parties.
2. The scene where Nixon storms out of the interview did not happen - Frost stormed out.
3. The late-night phone call from Nixon to Frost did not happen.
4. The big "gotcha" moment portrayed near the end of the film did not happen.
As I realize that license is often taken in movies regarding historical events, what people will remember of Nixon will not be gleaned from the actual interviews, but from this movie.
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