Oscar®-winning director Ron Howard brings to the screen writer Peter Morgan’s (“The Queen,” “The Last King of Scotland”) electrifying battle between Richard Nixon, the disgraced president with a legacy to save, and David Frost, a jet-setting television personality with a name to make, in the untold story of the historic encounter that changed both: “Frost/Nixon.” Reprising their roles from Morgan’s stageplay are Frank Langella, who won a Tony for his portrayal of Nixon, and Michael Sheen, who fully inhabited the part of Frost onstage in London and New York.
For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts and minds of Americans.
Likewise, Frost’s team harbored doubts about their boss’ ability to hold his own. But as cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits resulted. Would Nixon evade questions of his role in one of the nation’s greatest disgraces? Or would Frost confound critics and bravely demand accountability from the man who’d built a career out of stonewalling? Over the course of their encounter, each man would reveal his own insecurities, ego and reserves of dignity–ultimately setting aside posturing in a stunning display of unvarnished truth.
“Frost/Nixon” not only re-creates the on-air interview, but the weeks of around-the-world, behind-the-scenes maneuvering between the two men and their camps as negotiations were struck, deals were made and secrets revealed…all leading to the moment when they would sit facing one another in the court of public opinion.
“Frost/Nixon” is a collaboration between Imagine Entertainment and Working Title Films, with Academy Award® winners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard joining Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner as producers. Joining Langella and Sheen as the colorful real-life personalities who provide the men counsel is a formidable roster of actors including Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell, Toby Jones and Matthew Macfadyen.
Cast: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Matthew Macfadyen, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell; Director: Ron Howard
About the life of legendary hip hop rap artist Christopher Wallace aka Notorious B.I.G. In just a few short years, Notorious B.I.G. rose from the streets of Brooklyn to become one of the most influential hip hop artists of all time. B.I.G. was a gifted storyteller; his narratives about violent life on the streets were told with a gritty, objective realism that won him enormous respect and credibility. His stories were universal and gave a voice to his generation.
Cast: Angela Bassett, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke, Naturi Naughton, Jamal Woolard, Charles Malik Whitfield, Marc John Jefferies, Antonique Smith, Sean Ringgold, Kevin Navayne, Osas Ighodaro; Directed by: George Tillman Jr.
Back in the late ’80s, Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) was a headlining professional wrestler. Now, twenty years later, he ekes out a living performing for handfuls of diehard wrestling fans in high school gyms and community centers around New Jersey.
Estranged from his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and unable to sustain any real relationships, Randy lives for the thrill of the show and the adoration of his fans. However, a heart attack forces him into retirement. As his sense of identity starts to slip away, he begins to evaluate the state of his life — trying to reconnect with his daughter, and strikes up a blossoming romance with an aging stripper (Marisa Tomei). Yet all this cannot compare to the allure of the ring and passion for his art, which threatens to pull Randy “The Ram” back into his world of wrestling.
Director Darren Aronofsky presents a powerful portrait of a battered dreamer, who despite himself and the odds stacked against him, lives to be a hero once again in the only place he considers home – inside the ring.
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Mark Margolis, Todd Barry; Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
The 81st Oscar nominations came with some surprises up its sleeve this morning, snubbing the year’s biggest film and finding room for smaller performances.
The Dark Knight, the second-largest-grossing movie of all-time, was left off the Best Picture list in favour of a list of critical favourites that include Slumdog Millionaire, the little movie that could. Slumdog, which won the Golden Globe earlier this month, also garnered nominations for adapted screenplay and for director Danny Boyle. In all, it got nine nominations.
The Reader, a post-Holocaust drama about the love affair between an older woman and a young man, was a surprise inclusion because of its controversial subject matter. It also won a Best Actress nomination for Kate Winslet, who had earlier won the Supporting Actress award at the Golden Globes. Winslet had been touted as a possible Best Actress nominee for the acidic 1950s drama Revolutionary Road, but she and co-star Leonardo DiCaprio were snubbed, as was the movie itself.
Joining Winslet in the Actress category was Melissa Leo, star of the well-received but decidedly small drama Frozen River. She’s going up against Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married, Angelina Jolie in Changeling, and Meryl Streep in Doubt.
It was a good day overall in the Jolie household: husband Brad Pitt, who ages backwards as Benjamin Button, was also nominated, along with Mickey Rourke, the comeback kid, who won the Golden Globe for his portrayal of an over-the-hill wrestler in The Wrestler. Frank Langella, who played Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon, and Sean Penn, as the gay politician Harvey Milk in Milk, are joined by longtime character actor Richard Jenkins, the star of another small but much-loved movie The Visitor.
The supporting categories also were filled with unexpected names. The Supporting Actress nominees included favourites Marisa Tomei as a stripper in The Wrestler and Penelope Cruz as an angry wife in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but also Amy Adams as the innocent nun and Viola Davis as the mother of a boy who may have been abused, both in Doubt, along with Taraji P. Henson, another surprise for her turn as the adoptive mother of Pitt’s character in Benjamin Button.
The supporting actor nominations were headed by the favourites, the late Heath Ledger, as the evil Joker in The Dark Knight and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a priest who may or may not be a child abuser, in Doubt. But the rest of the list showed a tendency for the Academy to take chances: Josh Brolin as the conflicted politician in Milk, Robert Downey Jr., performing in blackface as a method actor in Tropic Thunder, and Michael Shannon as the mentally ill intruder in Revolutionary Road, the only major award for that movie.
The Quebec movie The Necessities of Life, which was on the short list for Best Foreign Film, did not make the cut.
The nominations for the 81st Annual Academy Awards:
“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.
Click on the link below to read the entire review:
These are the movies debuting in cinemas, December 5, 2008.
Cadillac Records (Drama) – Cast: Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Beyoncé Knowles, Gabrielle Union; Directed by: Darnell Martin
Synopsis: The period piece follows the rise and fall of Chess Records, which launched the careers of such R&B greats as Muddy Waters, Etta James and Chuck Berry. Chess, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, scoured the South, checking out the various blues scenes and selling records from the back of his Cadillac.
Frost/Nixon (Drama) – Cast: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Matthew Macfadyen, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell; Director: Ron Howard
Synopsis: Adaptation of the hit Peter Morgan play based on a series of televised interviews that David Frost secured with former President Nixon in 1977. The final interview ended with Nixon tacitly admitting his guilt regarding his role in the Watergate scandal. Frank Langella and Michael Sheen are reprising their Broadway roles as Nixon and Frost, respectively.
Punisher: War Zone (Action/Thriller) – Cast: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz, Wayne Knight; Directed by: Lexi Alexander
Synopsis: Waging his one-man war on the world of organized crime, ruthless vigilante-hero Frank Castle sets his sights on overeager mob boss Billy Russoti. After Russoti is left horribly disfigured by Castle, he sets out for vengeance under his new alias: Jigsaw. With the “Punisher Task Force” hot on his trail and the FBI unable to take Jigsaw in, Frank must stand up to the formidable army that Jigsaw has recruited before more of his evil deeds go unpunished.
Release date: Friday December 5, 2008 Genre: Drama Director: Ron Howard Studio: Universal Pictures Producer(s): Brian Grazer, Eric Fellner, Ron Howard, Tim Bevan Screenplay: Peter Morgan Cast: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Matthew Macfadyen, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell Official Site:frostnixon.net Rating:R for some language Available film art:Frost/Nixon movie posters
Synopsis Adaptation of the hit Peter Morgan play based on a series of televised interviews that David Frost secured with former President Nixon in 1977. The final interview ended with Nixon tacitly admitting his guilt regarding his role in the Watergate scandal. Frank Langella and Michael Sheen are reprising their Broadway roles as Nixon and Frost, respectively.