While not welcomed at the box office, I thought this movie was decently good. Although some thought the lead should have been given to someone else (who could you find that looked more like Nixon in this role?) I thought the choice of Anthony Hopkins as Nixon was perfect. Generally a little stiff anyway, due to his training as a Shakespearean, Hopkins is the only one that could have played this pompous ass for what he was.
Unfortunately, in true Hollywoodian fashion, they attempt to glorify Nixon, making him appear as the all around American trying to atone for his mistakes. Without creating a political outroar on here, I felt what he did was wrong, he deserved to be punished for it, and he accepted his punishment like a man. Not that what he did was anymore or less than many other politicians, he just was dumb enough to get caught.
The affable Pat Nixon was played by Joan Allen. Some think she was a little too closed in the part, but personally, I always thought Pat Nixon was a little standoffish anyway, so in my opinion, Allen stayed true to character. The true movie stealers though were Bob Halderman, played by James Woods, who always gives a gritty performance and Howard Hunt played by Ed Harris, a guy I like in almost every movie he appears in.
In typical Oliver Stone fashion, he creeps into the mindset of this era and these people. Sometimes I think he is an alien, dropped in our midst just for the purpose of eliciting thought provoking movies for us. Always one to delve deeper and strive harder, Stone never fails to amaze me with the information he shoves in your face. An interesting mix of color and black and white filming adds a bit of nostalgic flavor to this film.
Another movie that if you lived in these times and through this era, not just read about it in history books, gives you a chill when you think of the power exuded by our (?) government. If these names are only names to you, it is unfortunate that you were not around, or conscience, to realize the affect these people would have on your lives. In an incident that changed American history forever, and defeated the goals of one man that only wanted to be President, we have become known as a weak willed government (and this was BEFORE Clinton!)
Also starring: Powers Boothe (Alexander Haig), Bob Hoskins (J. Edgar Hoover), E.G. Marshall (John Mitchell), David Paymer (Ron Ziegler), David Hyde Pierce (John Dean), Paul Sorvino (Henry Kissinger - and a damn good job!), Mary Steenburgen (Hannah Nixon), J.T. Walsh (John Ehrlichman, Madeleine Hahn (Martha Mitchell), John Diehl (Gordon Liddy), Robert Marshall (Spiro Agnew), Donna Dixon (Maureen Dean), George Plimpton (president;s lawyer) and joy of joys - my friend Fyvush Finkel, back for another run!