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This dialogue-heavy but utterly compelling history lesson restages David Frost's exclusive 1977 interviews with former US President Richard Nixon, three years after he left office in disgrace over the Watergate scandal. Opening up the theatrical battle of wits with measured restraint to show the behind-the-scenes manoeuvring, director Ron Howard (Hollywood's definitive "safe pair of hands") invests everything in the strength of his practised leads, Michael Sheen and Frank Langella. And, having honed their roles in Peter Morgan's original play, the pair are quietly electrifying. A transcription of the interviews themselves would be fascinating enough, but Morgan's script gets right under the skin of the financially strapped, vanity-driven inquisitor and the morally beleaguered but in no way feckless politician. Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell and Matthew Macfadyen (playing producer John Birt) make the most of supporting roles, and it's impossible not to get caught up in the the momentum of events, which evoke a more principled time before news-media saturation.
British broadcaster and journalist David Frost comes up with the idea of setting up a series of exclusive televised interviews with the disgraced former president of the United States, Richard Nixon. Believing he could use the publicity as a chance to resurrect his political career and make some easy money, Nixon agrees but soon realises he has underestimated Frost. Fact-based drama, starring Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Sam Rockwell and Kevin Bacon.
Cast & Crew
James Reston Jr
Universal Pictures Int (UK)
DVD and Blu-ray
23 Jan 2009
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