Thursday, January 01, 2009

"Frost/Nixon"


OK. I'm sappy when it comes to our country. I cry when I hear the national anthem. I wept as I watched the airplanes crash into the World Trade Center not only for the lost lives but because I suspected it would result in some loss of our freedom as Americans. And I still have unresolved feelings of anger that our country was misled and polarized by the Bush administration.

There are two biopics in theaters now that deal with presidents who shattered Americans' trust in our government. I believe that biopics can be very powerful when they deal with our unresolved issues. I went to these films to find some kind of understanding and resolution. Unfortunately, the film "W" doesn't begin to deal with my issues with Bush. Oddly, director Oliver Stone seems to make excuses for Bush. No matter what he did, party boy George could never win his daddy's approval. Maybe I'm not there yet, but I have no need to sympathize with the spoiled rich kid portrayed here. This shallow justification was just as unsatisfying as the acting. I was always keenly aware that I was watching an actor (Josh Brolin) playing the President.

"Frost/Nixon" is based on the famous news special in which British talk show host, David Frost (Michael Sheen), tried to coax a confession out of former President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) for his part in Watergate after he is pardoned by President Ford. Media savvy David risks an insanely huge sum of money for the interview in hopes of getting commercial sponsors and more credibility so he can get back his New York talk show and his table at Sardi's. I found myself rooting for this second rate talk show host to convince the intellectually superior Nixon to finally take responsibility for the cover up and for hurting the American people. I discovered, along with Frost, the importance of uncovering the truth as a much needed resolution. The acting and the writing (Peter Morgan) are thoroughly compelling. I wasn't watching actors, I was watching Frost and Nixon. It was a pleasure watching them in their "no holds barred" debate.

I found "Frost/Nixon" infinitely more satisfying than "W". Director Ron Howard wisely saw America's need for the truth and addressed it. Hmm. Perhaps we could use a "Frost/Bush" interview...

Movie Blessings!
Jana Segal

OSCAR UPDATE

Frost/Nixon Won Best Picture, Frank Langella won Best Actor, Ron Howard won Best Director, Peter Morgan won Best Adapted Screenplay, Mike Hill and Daniel P. Hanley won Best Editing

2 comments:

Richard said...

Though it was far from perfect, the January release THE BUCKET LIST probably belongs here. And STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING was a 2007 film, not 2008.

Others worthy of consideration include: THE BAND'S VISIT, the documentary YOUNG@HEART, THERE's NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS and LAST CHANCE HARVEY.

Richard / FilmStew.com

Reel Inspiration said...

Josh wrote another great review at: http://indiebum. wordpress. com/2009/01/10/review-frostnixon/

Josh goes into more depth on the acting - that I just touched on in my review. Frank Langella is such an amazing actor. I just loved him in Starting Out in the Evening. In fact, I have Starting Out as number two on Reel Inspiration's MOST INSPIRING FILMS OF 2008 list. That film screened in Tucson in March 2008, so it didn't make last year's list. But it has stayed with me all this time. I have Frost/Nixon as number three. But I suspect that it will have staying power too.


Check out Reel Inspiration Most Inspiring Films of 2008!

I'd love to hear what you think too.


Movie blessings!
Jana

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