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Each week, PS News’s film critic Victor Rebikoff will highlight the latest offerings from the silver screen and share his expert commentary for our information and guidance.
Director: Ron Howard, Working Title Films, Rated M, 122 Minutes
Peter Morgan’s highly acclaimed stage production ‘Frost/Nixon’ has been brilliantly adapted to the silver-screen by Oscar-winning director Ron Howard.
This political dramatization centers around the post-Watergate television interviews between renowned British talk-show host David Frost and disgraced former US President Richard Nixon.
The interviews between Frost and Nixon are both enthralling and fascinating to watch, with both men approaching them as a contest to be won - with the winner, in the case of Frost, enhancing his journalistic reputation as well as avoiding a personal loss of more than $600,000, while Nixon, is attempting to restore his damaged reputation as a worthy President of the United States.
The lead performances of Frank Langella as Richard Nixon, and Michael Sheen as the well-known British interviewer David Frost are both superb - both major characters transforming Howard’s film into a gripping and unforgettable experience.
Despite a great cast that includes Rebecca Hall (Frost’s ‘girlfriend’) and Bob Platt (Frost’s journalist friend), it is Kevin Bacon (as Jack Brennan, a staffer to Nixon) and Sam Rockwell (as James Reston, a fire-brand journalist who detests Nixon) who play any significant roles beyond the two lead actors during the course of the film.
A great deal of credit is due to Peter Morgan, who has, without question, crafted a truly captivating and insightful story that delivers not only a fulfilling appreciation of a complex time in US history, but captures a generation's struggle to come to terms with the frailty of leadership that still reverberates today.
But it is Frank Langella's portrayal of Nixon which stands out as truly moving in this remarkable film that impacts on one’s political consciousness, and will grip everyone over its entirety. It is therefore not surprising that Langella has been nominated for Best Actor in the forthcoming award season that includes the Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA and the Academy Awards.
‘Frost/Nixon’ is compelling viewing and one film that should not be missed.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 Rubber Stamps