Movie Review: Frost/Nix

9 Feb

frost_nixon1It is Oscar season again, so you know what that means, all of the movie buffs are running around trying to see as many of the “Best Picture” nominations as possible.  As someone who fancies the big screen, I thought I’d try to do the same this year.  Several weeks ago I wrote the first ever HaySay review on Slumdog Millionaire. I set out Saturday night to get some material for another review.

Almost all of the nominations for “Best Picture” (The Reader, MILK, Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) appeal to me in some way.  The one exception would be The Reader for the sole reason that well…it just sounds boring.  So I hit the town with a few friends to catch one of the remainding three flicks.  With Slumdog Millionaire behind me and The Reader off my radar, MILK was the next obvious choice.

We strolled up to the H Street Theater just over 30 minutes before the show to see that MILK is sold out.  H Street wasn’t showing Benjamin or Frost/Nixon, so we shuffled back to Gallery Place to try our luck there.  After a short wait in line, we headed into the theater with sodas in hand.  By the time the lights were dimmed, the theater was full with people excited about the feature.

Before the film started, I knew most of Richard Nixon’s story, I knew most of David Frost’s story, and I knew about the interviews.  I’d read articles on the importance, seen Frost talk about the experience, and heard my elders talk about the infamous confession.  But I knew nothing of adventures leading up to the confession, or all of the problems throughout the first days of interview.

The movie started out slow.  After about twenty minutes I was getting a little nervous that we had chosen the wrong movie.  The film is set up to look at times like a documentary by interviewing the characters about the experience throughout the movie.  This did add substance and create an interesting feel, but at times it lost my attention.

As the characters and story developed, however, the film really started to grow on me.  Michael Sheen, playing David Frost, did a beautiful job portraying a somewhat cocky, naive TV star who thought he could conquer the world.  Frank Langella could have easily been the real Richard Nixon.  You quickly hated him, yet for some reason couldn’t quit thinking about his charm.  I can only imagine how the actual Frost and Nixon grew to respect and despise each other at the same time.

As one of my friends told me today, portions of the film keep popping into your mind as time goes on.  Some of the subtle, comic relief, stays with you longer than you would have thought.

As people filed out of the theater, I thought of the different ways that someone of my generation would experience the film, compared to that of my parent’s generation.  We didn’t experience the acts of Nixon or see his impeachment, but I don’t think we are completely left with no understanding.  I can only imagine how it would feel to hear George Bush admit to illegal activity.  What if Bush were to confess to the abuse of power and to being dishonest to the American people?  What a gratifying feeling it would be to know that he knows what he did was wrong.  On some level, that seems to be what these interviews did for the Boomers.

The more I think about this movie, the more I like it.  I may not have been immediately blown away, but it is certainly worthy of competing for “Best Picture.”  The story is multi-generational, and I’m glad that director Ron Howard could capture that sensation.

I give Frost/Nixon – ! ! ! !

The Hay Say’s Movie Rating System:

! – Movie will probably be found in a cell at Guantanamo being used as a form of torture.

! ! – Only watch if the Netflix queue has run dry.

! ! ! – Might as well wait to rent it, I’m sure there is something better in the theater.

! ! ! ! – Not bad, I’ve already forgotten I just paid $10.

! ! ! ! ! – Forget the rest of this hot date, I’ve got to watch this thing again!

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One Response to “Movie Review: Frost/Nix”

  1. Locket Necklace December 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    i can see a lot of movie reviews on the internet and i usually buy dvd movies with great reviews `–

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