Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Frost/Nixon (2008)

Finally, I got to watch this movie on cable. 

Admittedly Frost/Nixon (2008) is one of the more gripping movies I've seen. No, there were no gun fights, car chases, hostage situations, nor weather and geographical disturbances. There wasn't even a cat fight! What made the movie compelling to see then? 

They just talked.

Yes, they did. I could remember only two movies where the characters mainly discussed issues stopped me from doing anything else: Lions for Lambs (2007) and Phone Booth (2002). In both movies, the characters were all fictional. However, Frost/Nixon was based on the series of interviews between famous reporter David Frost and the former US President Richard Nixon during the aftermath of the Watergate scandal. The movie showed what happened in the background: Nixon's staff and family around him, and the drama occurring within Frost's production team as the interviews progressed.

More importantly, the movie showed the verbal sparring between the two formidable men. At first, it seemed that Frost had a hard time getting questions in as Nixon dominated over the interview session (monologue was more like it). Nixon even looked like someone who could do no wrong. Frost finally started sinking his teeth into the interview when the topic moved into the Watergate affair. On the last day of the interview, he was able to upset the former president. So agitated that Nixon famously exclaimed, "When the President does it, it's not illegal!" 

The movie's leads were amazing: Michael Sheen as Frost and Frank Langella as Nixon.