I finally got around to watching Frost/Nixon from 2008. The film from Ron Howard was compelling and interesting. While I do know a fair amount about the Watergate saga, I didn’t really know anything about Dave Frost and his series of interviews with Richard Nixon. And yes, it was dramatized and acted, but the film was entertaining because it gave me an inside look into what surrounded the before and after of the interview series.
Basically that’s what the movie is, the lead up to the interviews as Frost scrambled to get funding and researched his subject. Then the film shows the series of interviews. At first Frost crumbled beneath Nixon’s rhetoric, but after digging up some information on Watergate Frost had Nixon right where he wanted him.
It might have just been the amazing acting but as a viewer I kept going back and forth between sympathizing with Nixon to not standing him. He obviously was a corrupt man who should never have been president, but I think he was remorseful and it was really depressing. Empathizing with Nixon was easy for me to do. Cracking under pressure is something a lot of people deal with.
Frank Langella (Good Night, and Good Luck) starred as Richard Nixon. Langella has been in nearly 100 different roles and this man knows how to act. His ability to show Nixon’s struggle and emotions was fabulous. I may not have empathized as much as I did for Nixon if the acting wasn’t as good. Michael Sheen played David Frost. And while I didn’t recognize the actor, he’s been in many movies including New Moon and Underworld. Like aforementioned, Ron Howard from “Happy Days” directed the film. Howard is actually a fantastic director and brought us such flicks as Cinderella Man, The Missing and A Beautiful Mind. Supporting roles were filled by Sam Rockwell (Matchstick Men), Kevin Bacon, and Oliver Platt. They all did a superb job. Bacon did especially well as Nixon’s chief of staff. He was very loyal to Nixon.
After watching the movie, I was so intrigued that I watched about 90 minutes from the real Frost/Nixon interviews. While they weren’t quite as emotionally charged as the film, it was pretty spot on. I don’t know what it is about getting a glimpse into politicians, and celebrities, lives that is so interesting but it really worked in this film. For some reason people get wrapped up in other’s vulnerabilities, myself included.