Frost/Nixon (2008) (R)
Ron Howard's bio/drama is a work that begins enigmatically and boils into a ferocious climax that can actually be described as thrilling. This director knows how to make a movie and "A Beautiful Mind" proved that to everyone. Now, keeping with a biographical theme, Ron Howard and the screenwriter Peter Morgan take on one of the biggest controversies in American History, simplified to one name: Richard M. Nixon.
The movie begins as Richard Nixon, not wanting to, resigns the presidency of the United States on the tail of the Watergate affair.
He is quickly launched into infamy and for three years after that, sits silent in his house and says nothing about the incident.
Enter David Frost, an English television show host who specializing in more humorous antics as opposed to real hard investigative journalism. But David sees the coverage of Nixon's resignation and decides that he wants to interview the man and get him to confess to covering up Watergate—not exactly the easiest thing in the world to accomplish when you're talking about one of the smartest and most cunning men in the country.
David assembles a team of helpers that include producers, authors, and journalists whose previous works seem tailored to this case.
But then, there's the issue of the man himself.
How do you convince a man to agree to a televised interview when both of you know that all you want is a confessions to a cover-up?
Near the beginning of the film, "Frost/Nixon" is shot like a documentary. It's as if, the fact has already happened and we are looking at archive footage of the real events. The actors portray their characters and give little snippet interviews that are intermingled with the dramatization of the story.
Michael Sheen plays David Frost and it is great role for him. I haven't seen anything that I haven't liked him in; and yes, that includes "Tron: Legacy".
The film is played out with a dichotomy between two vastly different big personalities.
David is showy but determined and Nixon is cunning and intelligent.
Sheen and the other actors which include Toby Jones, Kevin Bacon, Matthew Macfadyen, and one of my favorites Sam Rockwell do a great job; but the show is completely stolen by a fascinating Frank Langella as Nixon. The mannerisms and speech of the president are captured by Langella, but it's not a strict mimicry. The actor adds his own spin to the much covered commander-in-chief.
By the end of the movie you are completely enthralled with the story and the execution of it and it becomes a very thrilling and moving picture. Ron Howard adds onto his already high credibility and establishes that he should never be doubted as a film maker.
Score: 4 out of 4 stars
Posted by Micah Jones