Movie Hype
New Releases, Oscar-Winners and Obscure Movies!
Frost/Nixon

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

< read all 13 reviews

Great movie, questionable history

  • May 19, 2009
Rating:
+3
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 as the best courtroom drama. By the time Nixon/Langella states that "If the president does it, then it's not illegal", the tension in the film is palpable.

Langella (Nixon) and Sheen (Frost) give great performances. Langella comes across as suitably awkward and bitter (there is one great scene in which Nixon rants against the journalists and elites). This scene is reminiscent of Rick Perlstein's portrayal of a Nixon who divided the world into "Franklins" (elitists) and "Orthogonians" like Nixon (who came from poor backgrounds and were never liked). The guy even looks like Nixon! For his part, Sheen captures Frost well as light-hearted but also serious.

As much as I liked the film, as other reviewers have noted it contains some glaring historical accuracies, for which I reduced the film's rating by a star. Normally, I can tolerate a few historical inaccuracies in in historical fiction, but "Frost/Nixon" goes a bit too far. At the end of the interview, the film has Nixon saying he "was involved in a 'cover-up,' as you call it." However, in the historical interview, Nixon actually said, "You're wanting to me to say that I participated in an illegal cover-up. No!" That one change casts an enormously different light on the interview and Nixon. I worry that many people who watch the film may not be aware of the change and believe that Nixon actually admitted to wrongdoing.

For viewers interested in the Nixon presidency and Watergate, be sure to check out:
- All the President's Men (Two-Disc Special Edition) (the classic film about Watergate)
- Rick Perlstein's new book Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America
- and, of course, the actual Nixon-Frost interviews (available on youtube)

What did you think of this review?

Helpful
3
Thought-Provoking
3
Fun to Read
3
Well-Organized
3
Post a Comment
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
Frost/Nixon
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 . February 23, 2009
Frost/Nixon Poster
  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, …
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
DVD
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
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #39
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

You
FreeDom4
Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this movie

Wiki

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 ...
view wiki

Details

Director: Ron Howard
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Peter Morgan
DVD Release Date: April 21, 2009
Runtime: 122 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
First to Review
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
Movie Hype is part of the Lunch.com Network - Get this on your site
()
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since
reviews
comments
ratings
questions
compliments
lists