Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vacation Catch-up: Frost/Nixon

Frank Langella is terrific as Richard Nixon and totally deserved his Oscar nomination and Tony awards for this script. I knew it was originally a play, but neither saw nor read the play, so I'm incredibly impressed by how well they created the movie. It was very complete, using locations and sets that I can't imagine on stage. The story follows David Frost (Michael Sheen) and his desire and success in interviewing Nixon after he resigned from office.

I have a theory that it's very difficult to keep track of the events in the 10-20 years surrounding your own birth. This means that things that happened between 1970 and 1990 are fairly difficult for me to keep track of or fully understand. This is because we didn't make it that far in American History in high school (which was after 1990) and I was too young for the 80's to really capture the full extent of what happened. Thus, watching this movie was an amazing history lesson. It's told in a somewhat documentary style of today's reality programs, but still with a cinematic feel, very typical of director Ron Howard. I was impressed by how much depth the story had which is why I think of is an educational movie for those of us born during that gap I mentioned. There's a sense of how different people reacted to Nixon's crimes, whether they were crimes ("I"m saying, when the President does it, that means it's not a crime"), how involved they were and how it affected different people. It's a great movie for any reason, but particularly if you feel like there's a gap in your historical knowledge. The supporting cast, including Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon, and Sam Rockwell is also terrific.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Rachel said...

I haven't seen this yet, but I must say I feel kind of bad for Michael Sheen. I think he's extremely talented, but this is the second time (that I know of) his performance has been over overshadowed by his co-star in this type of historical drama. First in the Queen and now this, with both co-stars being nominated in their respective best acting categories.

Jess said...

Yeah, I liked Michael Sheen much more in The Queen. He seems surprised in most of the scenes in Frost/Nixon so I was often confused as well. He does really hit it at the end when the story gets more serious, but he's a little uneven at the beginning.