Frost / Nixon [DVD] 
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Oscar-winning director Ron Howard brings to the screen writer Peter Morgan's (The Queen, 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 originally played 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 down 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 harboured 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 Forst confound critics and bravely demand accountability from the man who had 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.
It’s not always that a stage play translates particularly well to the medium of movies. But for anyone considering such a challenge in the future, Frost/Nixon is surely a fine template to follow. In the capable hands of director Ron Howard, the extraordinary story of how a then-fairly low profile television interviewer managed to bring the disgraced former President of the United States to account is, at best, absolutely riveting.
Much of the reason for this is the two leading performances, which are both absolutely exception. The awards attention for Frost/Nixon has been directed towards Frank Langella, and truly he’s an actor long overdue some recognition. Here, as ex-President Nixon, he’s flat-out brilliant: a complex, intriguing character portrayed with real measure and expertise. It’s unfair, though, that Michael Sheen has been overlooked by some. Fresh from portraying Tony Blair in The Queen, Sheen is once more brilliant here, injecting Frost with an erratic, on-the-edge fallibility that sets up the film’s final act extremely well.
Now you can argue, with some right, that Frost/Nixon flattens out some of the facts to its own liking, and certainly the portrayal of David Frost doesn’t seem to do the man too many favours. But when it gets to the interviews themselves, it’s electric, and proof that you don’t need a bunch of effects and flashy gimmicks to keep you on the edge of your seat. Ron Howard has done this to us before with a true story, in the shape of Apollo 13, and here again, even though we know the ending, the journey there is quite brilliant. You really can make compelling drama with just two people sat in a chair… --Simon BrewStills from Frost/Nixon See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Thus, I came into Frost/Nixon as a bit of a blank slate, and in many ways, I'm glad I did.
In 1974, in the wake of the Watergate scandal and threats of impeachment, Richard Nixon becomes the first and only President in US history to resign while still in office. Absolved of all wrong-doing by his successor Gerald Ford, he retires to a life of virtual obscurity on the West Coast. But the wilderness doesn't sit well with the former President, and he soon begins a public relations comeback effort.
In steps David Frost, a lightweight but massively ambitious British talk show host notorious for his playboy lifestyle, who manages to put together a deal to interview Nixon about his life, his Presidency and, most importantly, about Watergate. Believing Frost to be a lightweight on the political stage rather than a serious investigative journalist, and seening an opportunity to rebuild his reputation, Nixon agrees.
What follows is a verbal and intellectual battle between the two men as they fight for their respective causes - Frost to uncover the truth and Nixon to protect it. With both of their careers on the line, neither will pull any punches. But there can only be one winner.Read more ›
The film is full of superb acting performances. Frank Langella is the star as a brooding, tormented and nigh-on demented Nixon at times. Sheen is superb as Frost managing to juggle a seemingly native superciliousness with an inner resolve to prove that he is more than the lightweight talk-show bunny for which he is initially dismissed by almost all around him. Kevin Bacon is also excellent as Nixon's bulldog like lawyer. Sam Rockwell from "Jesse James and Robert Ford" is also energetic and convincing as part of Frost's investigative team. Matthew Macfayden is a very good foil to Frost, and only Oliver Platt is a little weak as Rockwell's colleague. He is partly let down by having too much of the film's rarest resource: occasionally duff dialogue.
For the most part, as a stage-adaptation should offer, the dialogue is very good. Perhaps the boxing metaphors as a description of the verbal contest are occasionally overdone - Langella's comment to Bacon about "throwing in the towel" comes off a little half-baked. My only other minor criticisms would be that the film is a bit of a slow-burner, although gripping once the two leads have met. And I also found that Rebecca Hall's role as Miss Cushing seemed somewhat expendable. It seemed to me more the traditional economic wisdom that without any prominent female roles the film is not sufficiently relatable for half of ticket-buying humanity than genuine dramaturgy.Read more ›
The fee Nixon's agent charges is exorbitant, and the disgraced former president's eye is not only on the financial prize. To him, Frost is a lightweight. An easy alternative to the flocks of US journalists all too eager to swoop and devour him following his resignation. Surely, this is his chance to dominate the limelight and buff the tarnish from his reputation once and for all.
Indeed, Sheen's Frost is initially blazé, relying on his breezy, light-entertainment familiarity with the camera during their interviews in a suburban home. Only during his first clashes with the unrepentant Republican heavy-hitter does Frost realise how far out of his depth he's swum. Kevin Bacon's Smithersesque right-hand-man-to-the-President character compares the clash of the two men to a boxing match early in the film. You soon understand the reason for the film's bluntly truncated title: Frost-Nixon is to journalism as Lewis-Tyson is to boxing.
It's only prior to the final round does Frost realise how reckless and naïve he's been in staking so much on the interviews. Can the English schmoozer press the fight with his gloves off?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was around when all this happened,great to see another side to the storyPublished 14 days ago by Lesley Box
Good quality , for that price it is nothing as blu ray.i recommend for everybody. Nice pictures good sounds.
Best Ron Howard film (along with The Paper) without any doubt. Many might think of Apollo 13, Cinderella Man, Beautiful Mind (please do not mention Rush.., please). Read morePublished 10 months ago by Elleppi
I wanted to watch this to see what all the fuss was about the famous interview, and get more informed. Read morePublished 12 months ago by TMPlym