This movie starred Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Sam Rockwell (one of my favorites btw), Oliver Platt, and Kevin Bacon. It was directed by Ron Howard. It is apparently based off a stage play of the same name that had actually won a Tony Award.
Peter Morgan who also wrote the play paints the picture of the legendary battle between David Frost, a defunct Australian TV show host looking to get back to London and get back to working in the US. It was interesting, after 3 years of staying silent, the president decides that he needs to finally get it all straight to the American public as to what really happened in his time in office. Frost offers the right price ($600,000) and in an effort not to do a “fluff” piece he hires a staff of crack researchers and journalists including Bob Zelnick (Platt) and James Reston Jr (Rockwell). Don’t fool yourself into thinking that Nixon didn’t do the same thing…he had Diane Sawyer and Frank Gannon.
I can tell why Langella is up for Best Actor. He portrays the president as a man who’s lost in retirement. You feel as if he’s only a step away from falling into alcoholism, depression, a combination of both. Sheen did a fantastic job as well showing how lost Frost was in trying to challenge the mundane activities of the everyday journalist to make an exciting and worthwhile interview. Howard puts together a picture that goes along with a great story. It’s a picture portrait of Nixon as a frail man and a damaged man that was a bit too paranoid for the presidency.
Let it be said I was really excited for this movie.
And nearly fell asleep in it. This movie is really slow. It also didn’t help that imagine yourself getting to the point…Nixon is going to admit wrong doing in the coverup of the Watergate scandal…and the lights come up in the theater and the strobe lights start going. Yes, we got caught in a fire alarm at the movie theater. Just say no to burnt popcorn.
This movie was well done, well written, and well directed. Do I think that it will win Best Picture? I don’t think so. But, I’ve been wrong a lot. I think that Slumdog Millionaire is well on it’s way. But, that’s just me. I think that Howard had it right though, releasing it to the rest of the country when he did. Right after the inauguration it showed people that it was about maybe this is correlated to Bush, maybe not. It showed a lot of correlation that made Nixon and Bush look like the same guy. Howard said that he didn’t do it on purpose…but you’re supposed to say that in public right?
In my growing scale of popcorn, I’d give it a matinee price. It’s worth the matinee, but that’s about it. Oh, and bring your own candy.