Dec 28, 2008

Film: Frost/Nixon (2008)

Rounding out my holiday movie watching spree, I got to see Frost/Nixon as the result of a weird series of negotiations between three of us trying to manage dinner, our disinterest in going out to where the indie theater was playing a few different films we want to see, and the resistance of at least one in our party to seeing that Brad Pitt movie, The Wrestler (which I will still go see when I get a chance), Valkyrie (the Tom Cruise vehicle), and probably some animated movie about dogs or rodents (there's always at least one playing at all times, right?).

It was a pleasant surprise. The film was put together well, and who would have thought that Ron Howard could pull together such a compelling piece of cinema. Basic premise: it focuses on the first thorough interview that Nixon granted after his ignominious descent from the highest office of the land. The person who landed it: a pop/celebrity talk show host from London who saw this as a golden opportunity, and got a few lessons in real journalism along the way.

I thought the screenplay was sharp, the supporting characters were compelling enough to move the story along, but we didn't get too much unnecessary background on them, and the pacing was excellent. The leads, recapping their roles in the play upon which the screenplay was based (Frank Langella as Richard Nixon, and Michael Sheen as David Frost) were crisp and memorable, the dialogue sharp, and everything else smooth enough to not be distracting. If you like good political drama, check this one out. Highly recommended.

Unfortunately, we ruined the feeling and depth of this film by going to another right afterwards (see Seven Pounds (of crap) review below).

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