frost/nixon/triumphant

Posted on October 18, 2011

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I am of an age where my memories of David Frost are of his tv show Through the Keyhole, where he invaded and poked around celebrity homes with his nosey sidekick Lloyd Grossman! Little did I know that Frost was [in the words of Ron Burgandy] kind of a big deal.

There were a shed load of fantastic movies in 2008. The Dark Knight, The Wrestler, Kung Fu Panda, Wall-E, Body of Lies, RocknRolla, In Briges and Slumdog Millionaire to name but a few.
One that passed me by at the time was Frost/Nixon.
Frost managed to arrange a series of one-on-one interviews with Nixon, the disgraced former US President. His hope was to get him to confess and apologise for the Watergate scandal which occurred some 3 years previous. Considered by most at that time to be little more than a minor journo, Frost called on a few wealthy contacts/friends and just about managed to cough up the $2,000,000 needed to pull the interview off.
I’ve heard this movie described as a boxing movie, and I have to say that I think it’s a great comparison. They exchange of blows between these two personalities is brilliant and thrilling to watch.
Martin Sheen, “the chameleon of British film”, is perfect as Frost and captures his persona and mannerisms faultlessly. Frank Langella’s Nixon is a rumbling giant of a man who wholeheartedly believes that being POTUS puts him above the law. Yet at the same time he’s a broken man.
These two main players are ably joined by Kevin Bacon, Toby Jones, Sam Rockwell, Matthew Macfadyen and Oliver Platt – it’s a great cast.
Ron Howard isn’t always on the money but here I think he’s turned out his greatest movie since A Beautiful Mind. Frost/Nixon is an really great drama and makes you think that, actually in the hands of the right kind of person, investigative journalism can be an incredibly powerful tool.
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