Monday, January 5, 2009

Frost Nixon

Being a history minor in college, yes I know I wasted my time getting a minor, reveals that I have an avid interest in all things historical. I never saw very many previews for the movie Frost Nixon but finally saw one a couple weeks back. I had no choice but to watch it, if for nothign else but sheer intrigue of the plot of the story. Richard M. Nixon. The only US president to ever resign, and probably the only US president that ever will. One of the dark times of our recent US history (which is saying something with how the world currently views the US).

First and foremost, I must admit, Frank Langella's portrayal of Nixon was very good. Mannerisms, voice, etc.. Granted, I wasn't alive during Nixon's time so someone like my father would be a better judge, but I was impressed. Especially at the end of the Watergate interview (this is the last of the 4 interviews if you are unfamiliar with these events). He's been in a ridiculous amount of TV and film, but most probably would recognize him in his role in Eddie as 'Wild Bill'. I, however, know him as Boris from one of my favorite Johnny Depp movies, The Ninth Gate. Back to the point, the movie itself is based on true events, so creativity etc.. is automatically stifled, but the story is a great one, especially if you are unfamiliar with the true events. David Frost, a talk show host, had one of the biggest interviews of our time with a man that was truly hated by a great number of Americans. Within the first 20 min of the movie, Sam Rockwell's monologue when he's talking to Oliver Platt and Michael Sheen really hits home. Why were so many people truly hurt by Nixon's actions? It wasn't because he was just a dirty politician, we have dirty politicians everywhere. More specifically, individuals across the country saw him as belittling and corrupting the highest office in the country. Symbolically, the corruption was much deeper than could ever occur in any other country or position. Speaking one on one with a man with such a gait would be quite intimidating. To see someone as grand as the president of the United States simply crack and speak from the heart can be awe inspiring.

If you like history, I think that this movie is a must-see. I give it 3.5 Manatees for its use of Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon (both crowd favorites, I'm sure), and Langella's performance as Nixon.


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