Director Ron Howard, it’s fair to say can be a little inconsistent with his output, for every Apollo 13 there is The Da Vinci Code. It’s good to report that Frost/Nixon is a very strong effort indeed.
The film opens with a brief insight (if you didn’t already know) of the scandal that enraptured the world in the early 1970’s. From there we are shown the level of fame that TV host David Frost has reached up to this point, hosting fluff entertainment in the UK and Australia. He knows if he wants to break America he needs something big. Nixons subsequent resignation from office is the opportunity he needs. Nixon, needing the money and the country’s sympathy accepts the proposal under the guise that Frost is getting himself in too deep.
The film lacks any significant visual flair, but does it need it? What it does thrive on is the two great performances by Michael Sheen as Frost and Frank Langella as Nixon. Langella in particular gives a powerful oscar nominated performance as the fallen leader, with a perfect voice impersonation to boot. So good is his rendition of the man that by the end we feel an amount of sympathy for the man hated by most of America.
It’s no surprise the film was based on a stage play because the simple two shot interviews are what make this film so gripping. This is all about two determined men who are in it for everything they’ve got – the film essentially plays as a fierce battle between the two.
The scenes in which we see all the players reminisce about the interviews seemed unneccessary as the characters thoughts added little to what we had just seen. Nonetheless, Frost/Nixon is a gripping and entertaining drama well worth seeing in cinemas.