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2008 Film adaptation of the stageplay and famous interviews between David Frost and Richard Nixon

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Frost/Nixon Review

  • Feb 23, 2009
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I'm now finishing this review post-oscars and I do have to say that Frost/Nixon got screwed a little bit. I could be wrong, but I don't think it won one Oscar. Ron Howard did such a wonderful job with this film just for the fact that he took something from the stage and put it to screen so I don't think this film got all the recognition it deserved.

Despite the fact that I wasn't around during the Nixon Administration or when the events of this film took place, Frost/Nixon was able to hold my attention for a few reasons. First, the acting was outstanding on all fronts. Second, the cinematography was amazing and again, got screwed out of an Oscar and finally, I love history so this film was very educational for me.

I take my hat off to Frank Langella. What a terrific job he did. Sure, he didn't look very much like Richard Nixon, but he sounded like him and really turned into him. There are only a select few actors who I think have this ability to become their roles like Heath Ledger, Sean Penn and Frank Langella. Despite the fact that he doesn't really look like him, makeup made Langella look like Nixon if Nixon was Frank Langella. On that screen, he didn't look like himself and I was convinced that that was Richard Nixon. Beyond his looks and voice, Langella acted this role superbly. Richard Nixon was not a likable guy and this really came across in Langellas acting. Everything from his walk and swagger, to the way he threw the peace signs completely embodied Nixon. Amazing job, Frank Langella.

Along with Langella was Michael Sheen. I think he is a huge up and coming actor despite the fact he has been in the business for a while and I was a little surprised he wasn't nominated for a best actor nod. A lot of people know Sheen as Lucian from the Underworld films, but you may also know his from The Queen where he played Englands Prime Minster, Tony Blair. I don't know much about David Frost, but Sheen did a magnificent job portraying him as well. He really comes through in this film near the end in the final piece of his interview with Nixon that has to do with Watergate. At this point in the film, I really thought that I was watching an interview, not a movie. I'm really excited for one of his upcoming roles in the new Alice in Wonderland film where he will be playing The Cheshire Cat.

The supporting cast of Frost/Nixon helped make this a great film as well which included a superb performance from Kevin Bacon. Frost/Nixon may have not gotten as much publicity as most of the other Oscar nominated films, but it was superior to some of them in it's directing and acting. If you appreciate these things and enjoy a nice historical piece, this is a film for you. 5/5.
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May 01, 2009
I liked this one a great deal even though Langella sounded nothing like Nixon, but eventually you came to accept him. The interview didn't conclude with Watergate, it came somewhere in the middle as I recall but of course the film has to build up tension so it takes some liberty with history for dramatic effect.
February 26, 2009
Really? I thought that Stome's view of NIXON was a lot less biased than everyone expected it to be. I was a bit disappointed to learn that my favorite part of the film was attributable to a Greek philosopher though. Not that I had expected Nixon himself to ever have had that level of awareness about himself. It came at the end of the film when Nixon was engaging in one of his infamous conversations with portraits of former presidents. This time it was JFK. Nixon says something to the effect of, "When the people looked at you they saw what they wanted to be. When they look at me they see what they are."
February 25, 2009
I wasn't a big fan of Oliver Stone's Nixon film, but your review has persuaded me to check this one out. Well done! It's hard to convince me to do anything!
February 24, 2009
I was there, but I worked nights and consequently didn't get to see all of the interviews. They didn't occur exactly as they were portrayed of course, but I still enjoyed the film immensely. Langella's Nixon really grew on me. From the clips I'd seen I'd thought he would be a distraction, but in lage doses he actually became Nixon. Sheen of the other hand was never a convincing David Frost but he did as well as he could in the role. The film is a must see in my book.
February 23, 2009
There are so many movies I need to see, and this is definitely one of them. I also love historical films, and despite also not having been around during the Nixon administration, your opinions make it clear that anyone with any knowledge level can enjoy this movie. Thanks for sharing!
More Frost/Nixon reviews
review by . May 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I went into Frost/Nixon expecting to see a political character drama which explored the more sensitive side of disgraced former President Richard Nixon. But Ron Howard's acclaimed movie isn't like that at all. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, mind you. It gives us a hero to root for and an evil Cobra Kai villain to throw our empty pop cans at. The light and dark warriors are established from the very beginning of the movie, and there is very little if anything done to remove Richard Nixon the …
review by . April 24, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Clever entertainment, with one of those wonderful, political non-apologetic apologies for a climax
Entertainment, Frost/Nixon is; history, of course, it's not. (But then who expects history from the movies?)       David Frost, if he doesn't hate Michael Sheen's amusing parody of himself, should. Sheen's Frost is a young man in love with the excitement and high life of being a television celebrity, as eager and quick as a chipmunk and as shallow as a plate.       The portrayal of Richard Nixon, however, is misleading. For the purposes …
review by . December 16, 2008
A better title for "Frost/Nixon" would be to replace the slash with a "vs.," to emphasize how director Ron Howard's latest generates exciting tension through a battle of the wits.    Set in 1977, the film chronicles how British television personality David Frost who in 1977 had the rare opportunity to interview and confront former president Richard Nixon on his abuse of governmental power without a public apology.  Frost sought to push his fame to new heights, while Nixon hoped to …
review by . May 19, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
As historical fiction, this film is wonderful. I'm a history buff and I love seeing these critical moments in history dramatized. However, audiences that normally would never watch a documentary about Watergate can enjoy this film. The Nixon/Frost interviews are not the obvious choice for a historical drama about Nixon (the Watergate scandal itself seems the more obvious choice, as in "All the President's Men"). Yet, this film makes the run-up to the interview and the interview itself as dramatic …
review by . May 15, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Supporting cast      Cons: Very dull storyline      The Bottom Line: Even if you are a Nixon/Watergate buff, this isn't required watching.  If you are such a buff, maybe good for a rainy day.  Otherwise, find another bio-pic.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. The worst plays are more intimate than great movies.  Sitting in the audience watching live actors treading …
review by . April 26, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
FROST/NIXON is one of the most successful screen adaptations of a play yet made. Perhaps that is due in part to the fact that the popular stage play by Peter Morgan was revised for the screen by the playwright, but it is also to the credit of director Ron Howard who managed to suffuse the 'play as movie' with such atmosphere and feeling of spontaneity that the rather long movie seems to whisk by more rapidly than history!    Everyone knows of the infamous David Frost interview …
review by . April 14, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Adapted from the fairly successful stage play, FROST/NIXON is a fictionalized account of the interview process and sessions that took place between world media darling David Frost (Michael Sheen) and former President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) in 1977. The film follows Frost as he seeks to get back into the big time (television in America) by gaining an exclusive set of interviews with Nixon to be broadcast on network television. Nixon has been living in relative seclusion since resigning from …
review by . April 30, 2009
This detailed recreation of David Frost's 1977 interviews with President Nixon is surprisingly engaging. The movie takes us back to a time when Presidents didn't pop up on every channel on a daily basis as they do now. Convincing Nixon to be interviewed following the Watergate scandal was quite a coup, even though Frost had a hard time selling it to networks and sponsors.     Michael Sheen (The Queen) portrays Frost as a confident, ambitious journalist and playboy. Frank Langella …
review by . April 11, 2009
What a mightily enjoyable film.     Frank Langella renders Richard Nixon as slower, older and heftier than he really was; somewhere between a punch drunk prize fighter and a waning silverbacked gorilla, snorting and puffing at the attentions of a glad-handing young dilettante. Michael Sheen plays that glad-handing dilettante, British talk show host David Frost in truth a little unevenly: at times caricaturing his bouffant mincing drawl like an effete Austin Powers, at times a …
review by . December 10, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
In March of 1977, British television personality David Frost interviewed former President of the United States Richard Nixon in a series of four ninety-minute installments. On the basis of the film that recreates these interviews, Ron Howard's "Frost/Nixon," I wish I had been around to see them when they originally aired. Partly, it has to do with the fact that they revealed a great deal about Nixon, and I'm not merely referring to historical facts; his on-camera mannerisms spoke volumes about him, …
About the reviewer
Julian Brown ()
Hi, my name is Julian Brown. I currently write for The Brotherly Game, a local Philadelphia soccer website where I cover the US Women's National Team and the local WPS Philadelphia Independence. I … more
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Sounds like a good match: a historical drama from the author ofThe Queen, but with an American subject in the generational wheelhouse of director Ron Howard. And so Peter Morgan's Tony-winning play morphs into a Hollywood movie under the wing of theApollo 13guy. Morgan's subject is a curious moment of post-Watergate shakeout: British TV host David Frost's long-form interviews with ex-President Richard Nixon, conducted in 1977. It was a big ratings success at the time, justifying the somewhat controversial decision to cut an enormous check for Nixon's services. The movie adds a mockumentary note to the otherwise straightforward style, having direct-to-camera addresses from various aides to Frost and Nixon (played by the likes of Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell, and Kevin Bacon); these basically tell us things we already glean from the rest of the movie, adding unnecessary melodrama and upping the stakes. In this curious scheme, the success of Frost's career, which could bellyflop if he doesn't get something worthwhile out of the cagey, long-winded Nixon, is given somewhat more weight than the actual revelations of the interviews. Even with these questionable storytelling decisions, there's still the spectacle of two actors going at it hammer and tongs, and on that level the movie offers some heat. Michael Sheen, who played Tony Blair not only inThe Queenbut also in another Morgan-scripted project,The Deal, is adept at catching David Frost's ...
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Director: Ron Howard
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Peter Morgan
DVD Release Date: April 21, 2009
Runtime: 122 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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