Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard, 2008)

Frost Nixon

The sometimes hilarious story of how David Frost, a fairly lightweight and vapid TV personality, managed to get one of the most revealing and important interviews of the last century, putting Nixon on the spot and getting him to admit to his own role in criminal behaviour with respect to Watergate.

I have to admit that Frank Langella’s total and complete lack of resemblance to Nixon was a bit of a hindrance to my immersion in this, as good as Langella was. Sheen is more convincing as Frost, avoiding just doing an impression of Frost’s mannerisms, but the most important thing is whether we buy the chain of events, and I did.

Frost’s playboy lifestyle and his lack of real political interest in Nixon’s crimes is laid out pretty damningly as Nixon gets the edge in the first three out of the four interviews arranged, though you are left with a grudging respect for his talent as a TV host as his desperation to make the themed interviews ‘work’ as a television event eventually force him to put the work in necessary for Nixon to be held to account in the last, crucial discussion, on Watergate itself. John Birt, Frost’s producer at LWT at the time, also comes across quite well as the two of them made one of the more unlikely successes of investigative journalism ever seen on TV.

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