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
The opening film of the 52nd London Film Festival. See more »
Frost's check for Nixon, drawn on the "First Trust Bank of London", is in dollars, not pounds, as one might expect of a British check. However, London and New York (GBP and USD) banking centres enjoy a unique relationship: a USD cheque can be cashed (in either USD, or converted into GBP) in London, and a GBP cheque can be cashed (in either GBP or converted into USD) in New York. A multi-currency account drawn on a London bank can, therefore, be made out in USD. See more »
James Reston, Jr.:
You know the first and greatest sin of the deception of television is that it simplifies; it diminishes great, complex ideas, stretches of time; whole careers become reduced to a single snapshot. At first I couldn't understand why Bob Zelnick was quite as euphoric as he was after the interviews, or why John Birt felt moved to strip naked and rush into the ocean to celebrate. But that was before I really understood the reductive power of the close-up, because David had succeeded on that final ...
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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 almost skipped "Frost/Nixon," and I am glad I didn't. It's eminently worthwhile, one of the year's few films that deserves to be seen.
My reluctance had to do with the expectation that it will offer nothing new to somebody who lived through the Watergate years and saw the Frost interviews (although remembering surprisingly little of them).
Ron Howard's film is anything but ho-hum - if anything it's a bit too gussied up to be exciting. There is an element of discernible manipulation of the audience, but mostly it works, and you don't long resist it.
The (relatively) unsung hero of the film besides Howard, Frank Langella's tremendous Nixon, and Michael Sheen's excellent Frost is the screenwriter: once again Peter Morgan (of "The Last King of Scotland" and "The Queen") engages mind and heart, and doesn't let go. Sam Rockwell's James Reston, Jr. and Oliver Platt's Bob Zelnick (Frost's two collaborators) are outstanding, and Kevin Bacon's Nixon-worshipping Jack Brennan is the actor's best work in a long time.
Morgan and Howard manage to make the viewer think constantly of another criminal President without saying or showing anything overt - they just let history, past and present, speak.
I had a strange, uncomfortable thought watching "Frost/Nixon": even if some future film "humanizes" (not excuses) Bush the way Nixon comes through this one, W. would still remain a malevolent midget against Nixon's accomplishments and actual *brain*. How far we have fallen.
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