I didn’t expect to like this movie when I saw it. It was part of a special movie viewing that included all the Oscar Best Picture nominated films. It was just part of the package so to speak. I expected to get a bit of a history lesson about Nixon and all I could hope for was not to be too bored. It was a pretty interesting story and the movie itself was nicely done. Fairly interesting story, good characters, and great acting. But it was by no means the best picture of the year.
Nixon has essentially gotten away with something very illegal without any prosecution except he has to resign from the presidency but others would have gone to jail for what he did. Nixon has been exiled to California and impatiently awaits the day when he can return to Washington where the action is. The American public is very upset that he has gotten away with what he did and they want some kind of confession or retribution. Realizing this, a British talk show host, David Frost, gets the idea to interview Nixon to get a confession for the American people and to secure his place in US television. Nixon, at this time hadn’t done any interviews and surprises everyone when he agrees to the interview with Frost. Nixon believes he can easily outfox Frost and get back into the good graces of the American People via a positive interview. The interview becomes a cross roads of life for both participants. If Frost wins the interview, he will keep his current show venues in Australia and get syndicated in the US, but if Nixon wins the interview then Frost will be on the way out by losing his current shows and Nixon will be able to re-enter politics. What happens when the camera rolls? You will have to watch the film to find out.
I really thought this film would be boring. I don’t care much about what happened to Nixon. However, I found this movie to be so well done that it was interesting. It is the characters that make this film. There isn’t much of a plot story. Its just the arranging of the interviews and the interviews themselves. But as we go, we find out about the people behind the interviews. And each character is so well done, that you feel like you know them by the end and more over you want to know them. That is what makes this film.
Because its the characters that make this film, you have to have good acting. And that we do have. Frank Langella is Richard Nixon. He did an excellent job. To me, he looked like and sounded like Nixon. Michael Sheen was great as David Frost. He is the show host playboy. He has lots of “friends” but on one really believes in him, but in the end he shows his mettle. You will recognize two other players in the interview scene. Kevin Bacon plays a supporter and friend of Richard Nixon. He is someone who believes Nixon was wronged and wants to help get him back in political play. And Oliver Platt plays one of the researchers for Frost. He and the other researcher played by Matthew Macfadyen try to encourage Frost to help with the research and to take the interviews more seriously but don’t seem to get through to him. Rebecca Hall plays Caroline who is Frost’s new girlfriend and she seems to lend him emotional support but really has no other role than a pretty distraction. Overall, I thought the acting was great and it makes this film.
For a historical film, its pretty good. Frost/Nixon is nicely presented and well done. It has good acting and dialogue. If you like these kinds of historical pieces, or if you are interested in Richard Nixon then you would enjoy this film.