frost-nixon1Overview: The story behind the story of British TV host David Frost’s post-Watergate interviews with Richard Nixon, three years after the disgraced president’s resignation.

What I liked: The lead actors are quite good: Michael Sheen captures Frost’s breezy style and Frank Langella infuses Nixon with humanity while wisely resisting the temptation to make him overly sympathetic. As Andrew noted, director Ron Howard gives “Frost/Nixon” a grainy look, making it look like something out of the era of bellbottoms and platform shoes.

What I didn’t: Having seen the play that inspired this film, I think “Frost/Nixon” works better on stage than on screen. This is essentially the story of two men talking to each other – a premise better suited to the intimate confines of a theater than the big screen. Interestingly, “Frost/Nixon” and the last film I reviewed, “Slumdog Millionaire,” deal with dramatic television confrontations. To his credit, “Slumdog” director Danny Boyle makes the showdown between the contestant and host on a a quiz show set a more riveting human drama than Frost’s interrogation of Nixon, when so much more was at stake. Also, as Elizabeth Drew noted in her recent HuffPo review, the historical accuracy of both “Frost/Nixon” the play and “Frost/Nixon” the film are questionable.

Final word: Not a bad movie, but I’m not sure this would make my list of Best Picture Oscar contenders.

My rating: Four out of five pairs of Italian loafers.

 

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