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Frost/Nixon – Movie Review

Frost/Nixon

Frost/Nixon” garner rave reviews from Jim Vejvoda (IGN) and gets 8 out 10 stars. Not bad.

The hugely successful stage play Frost/Nixon comes to the big screen courtesy of Oscar-winning director Ron Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan, who also penned the play. The story recounts the 1977 television interviews between disgraced President Richard M. Nixon (Frank Langella) and British talk show host David Frost (Michael Sheen). Both Langella and Sheen reprise their roles from the original stage production.

The story is essentially a dance between two once powerful men who discover they’re more alike than either would care to admit. Both men are on the outs with their respective professions — Nixon resigned the presidency as a result of the Watergate scandal, while Frost’s TV gigs are drying up — and need to make a comeback. Both men view these interviews as a chance to repair their reputations and get back in the game. With the networks passing and sponsors dropping out, Frost invests his own money in the project. He is, as he tells his girlfriend Caroline Cushing (Rebecca Hall), “in this for all he’s got.”

Nixon’s team includes loyal aide-de-camp Jack Brennan (Kevin Bacon) and literary agent Swifty Lazar (Toby Jones). Frost is prepped for his interviews by James Reston, Jr. (Sam Rockwell), Bob Zelnick (Oliver Platt), and John Birt (Matthew MacFadyen), all of whom harbor doubts about whether Frost has what it takes to get what they all want out of Nixon: a confession of guilt over his role in Watergate.

Much to the dismay of Reston and Zelnick, Nixon not only gets the upper hand of Frost in the first three interview sessions but he actually begins to redeem himself in the eyes of many observers. Frost must rise to the occasion if he is going to nail Nixon in the fourth and final session. But the more he gets to know the former President, the more Frost begins to realize that perhaps he’s not so different from his subject.

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