Friday, December 12, 2008
Richard Nixon is an important figure that has been featured in motion pictures and on television numerious times. Is there any interesting story left to be told about him? Absolutely, if one asks the Academy Award winner, veteran director Ron Howard. Based on a British play, Mr. Howard's enjoyable new film "Fronst/Nixon" (USA 2008, 122 min.) adds a new portrait for this fascinating historic individual. With a stunning performance by Frank Langella, we see a stubborn, arrogant, and grumpy Nixon, but not without charm, wit, and humanity.
"Fronst/Nixon" opens with historic footage and efficiently sets the well known background surrounded the Watergate scandal. Three years after he resigned, Nixon (Frank Langella) breaks his silence and grants his first "tell-all" interview to a British television host David Frost (Michael Sheen). In exchange, Nixon gets large amounts of money from the television production. At first, Nixon doesn't take Frost seriously, and easily takes control over the direction of the interview. However, after days into taping the show, both men realize that this interview is not only a television talk show, but a battle ground of wit, courage, fame, credibility, and survival. In the end, only one of them can win.
The film turns this historic event into an amazingly gripping drama that has hardly a dull moment, thanks to a screenplay by Peter Morgan who is also responsible to "The Queen" and "The Last King of Scotland."