Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


‘Frost/Nixon': Entertainment, History and Some Work

posted by Douglas Howe

frostnixonpic.jpgWhile it doesn’t open in wide release until Friday, I had a chance to see “Frost/Nixon” out in Los Angeles last week and I can’t recommend it enough–for adults who remember the time but who can now reflect on history much more intelligently and for young people who are bored by history.
“Frost/Nixon” presents a dynamic chapter in the life of President Richard M. Nixon, a former United States Senator, Vice-President, and President who’d historically participated in the first televised presidential debate, broke down the walls to visit China, and who’d then been disgraced and forced to resign from office. Three silent years later, seeking to rebuild his legacy, he selected a British television personality, whom he believed he could outwit, to send his personal propaganda message to the people of the world. It ended up being presented as a series of TV interviews in England as well as the U.S. in a time when everyone here watched one of the three major networks


Peter Morgan’s script and Ronnie Howard’s (you can call him Ronnie if you graduated from the same high school) directing create an urgency and tightness to a drama that’s rarely seen (or even presented) in this age of Michael Bay violence, Terminator-ish hyper-fast editing and star-studded soundtracks. (Mr. Howard is also the cover boy in a nice USA Today article.)
Even though I’ve seen Frank Langella, who plays Nixon, in other political movies (namely as the bad guy in “Dave”), the veil between actor and character disappears relatively early into the movie. It was evident to me why he won a Tony for this role on Broadway. And I never watched the original interviews but Michael Sheen certainly reprises any recollections I have of David Frost. There’s also an important (if brief) view into how the personalities of both of these’s men’s advisors affected their politics and on screen personas.
What’s inspiring about this movie for me is Mr. Howard’s ability to present a dramatic story even when we already know the ending. He did the same thing in “Apollo 13,” and I remembered the feeling of watching a different kind of drama, where the tension lies in how the characters interact rather than in what the ending will be. This kind of film forces us to be reflective, and make decisions about what we ourselves think. That kind of personal responsibility is something few directors still ask of us.
As for this film’s impact on President Nixon’s legacy, it will probably linger in history longer and with more stickiness than its predecessors “Nixon” (by Oliver Stone) and “All the President’s Men” (with Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford). Stone’s “Nixon” was more of a docudrama, while “‘Men” was more about the reporters’ trail than Nixon himself. But Langella is bigger than life in “Frost/Nixon,” presenting a version of the former President that is attractive but in no way saintly, redemptive but flawed. You really get the idea Nixon meant well, and yet at the same time you get the idea that he had no balanced construct for evaluating the appropriateness of his actions or, for that matter, the law.
President Nixon died in New York in 1994 at age 81. And yet, 14 years, later the campaign he began with these interviews still continues.
Frank Langella at LocateTV.com



  • Your Name

    To harbour such a grudge and make a movie … how sad. God forgave us and so we should forgive others

Previous Posts

Big Faith and a True Father-Son Bond
The film "Little" Boy is based on a seven-year-old boy working to move mountains to end World War II so his father and best friend can return home. Regardless of his size or age, this youth’s faith is unstoppable. Executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett team up with the producers of

posted 11:01:58am Dec. 19, 2014 | read full post »

#MARCHON
In light of recent occurrences in addition to our day-to-day - we need, more than ever, to march on. #Marchon is a national platform for justice. It's the opportunity to let the world know what and how you feel. What are you passionate about? What do you believe needs to change? Where does the actio

posted 2:28:57pm Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Classic with a Modern Twist: What to Expect from Annie
It's a film that the whole family will enjoy. It's a film that will inspire you to look at life in a different lens. Moreover, it's a film that will keep you wanting more - what film are we talking about? None other than Annie. The talented cast include Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne,

posted 8:00:55am Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Get Excited For the Holiday Film of the Year - Annie
Everyone is excited to see Annie, in theaters Dec. 19, staring Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz. The film is a modern retelling of the story about an orphan who seeks optimism within the adversity that she faces every day. While you're waiting for the f

posted 9:30:10am Dec. 11, 2014 | read full post »

'Unbroken' is a True Gift This Christmas
// After 57 years of being hung up, now a war hero’s story is on the big screen. Unbroken, a true story based on U.S. POW and 1936 Olympic runner Louie Zamperini will be released on Christmas Day. The timing could not be more perfect said director and producer Angelina Jolie, who was emotionally e

posted 9:57:52am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.