Frost/Nixon Review
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In August of 1974, President Richard M. Nixon resigned from office in the midst of the Watergate Scandal. He left quietly, without admitting any wrongdoing—and he was quickly pardoned by his successor. Around the world, people wanted answers—and British talk show host David Frost (played by Michael Sheen) was ready and willing to ask the questions. The result was a two-year process leading up to an interview with the former president (played by Frank Langella).

Based on Peter Morgan’s award-winning play, director Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon follows Frost through the long, arduous process of making his dream interview a reality. At first, it’s just Frost’s attempt to boost his career—and his ratings in the all-important American market. But it soon becomes an obsession, and he gives up everything to try to find funding—and airtime—for his $600,000 interview.

While the former president’s advisors and publicists see the interview as little more than a fluff piece and a nice paycheck, Frost hires a team of researchers—to help him prepare for battle.

Sure, you might not think that a film about a historical interview would be thrilling, but Frost/Nixon is so fascinating—and even suspenseful—that I found that I had to stop and catch my breath after it was all over. There’s nothing flashy about Frost/Nixon. It’s just a simple story with a small cast. But that doesn’t make it any less effective. Quite the contrary, in fact; it’s the film’s simplicity that makes it all the more captivating—because there’s nothing to distract your attention away from this two-man battle of wits.

Though Frost is technically the film’s main character, the story revolves around Langella’s Nixon. At times, he’s positively charming. He’s an easy-going storyteller with a good-natured sense of humor. And when the interviews eventually begin, his charm shows through. He infuriates his opponents—because he’s just so charming that you can’t help but like him. The deeper he gets into the interviews, however, the more the cracks begin to show.

Langella plays it all perfectly, humanizing his infamous character and showing every bit of Nixon’s strength and charm—and even his desperation. He’s absolutely electrifying in his role, portraying the former president without overplaying his quirks. And he makes it all seem effortless—which is really no surprise, since both he and Sheen also starred in the stage version. Sheen holds his own, too—making their battle as suspenseful (and surprising) as it must have been as it played out live.

The result is a simply remarkable drama, filled with crisp dialogue and breathtaking performances. This one’s not to be missed.

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