Friday, January 2, 2009


This is an absolutely fantastic movie. In a season of very good films, this is the superstar. What could have been a boring, bombastic, screeching indictment turns out to be a tightly written, incredibly acted, portrait of both David Frost and Richard Nixon. Michael Sheen, a Welsh actor who played Tony Blair so well in The Queen, does a beautiful interpretation of a Frost who radiates personality and optimism. But it is Frank Langella who does a Richard Nixon of such depth that it is totally possible to feel empathy for the predicament he finds himself in. Both Langella and Sheen are reprising these roles from the play. Director, and everyone's fav learjet liberal, Ron Howard, adds a scene with a drunken phonecall, which is really an egregious sort of character assasination (as if Nixon needed any more) on Howard's part. But the film, if you excuse the inaccuracies, is seamlessly done. Howard holds back his tendency to make a statement and tells an exciting story. I have to say, Nixon did end the VietNam war. He did it. No one else did. The Vietnam war did convince the Russians and Chinese that we would fight again. The cost to the Russians may have led to the eventual dismantling of the Russian empire. It cost over 50,000 lives, but could have cost so many more. Nixon didn't PUT us into Viet Nam, and it took a lot to get us back out. So he will never be that much of a villain to me. If you don't see this film, you will have missed quite an experience.