My Top 10 Favorite Movies No. 3
August 5, 2013 6 Comments
There is a tension in Frost/Nixon unlike most other movies I have ever seen. It’s charged with so much awkwardness and suspense that it’s almost too stressful for my wife to watch. There’s no blood, no violence (except real footage of Vietnam aftermath), and infrequent cursing.
This is one of those movies that relies 100% on top-notch acting, and stellar performances. But that’s me – special effects don’t move me like pure, raw, talent. And this movie is chock full of it.
In some ways it’s Ron Howard’s other boxing movie. Like Cinderella Man, the two opponents have everything to lose and are pitted against each other for a match that the world will never forget.
You older people probably remember these interviews. In the wake of the Watergate cover-up, one man dared to give Nixon “the trial he never had.” And he really was the wrong man for job in almost every sense. David Frost was from Europe, he cared little about serious politics (especially America’s), he was a performer, a talk-show host, an entertainer – not a shrewd, rigorous interviewer. And yet, he was faced with the momentous task of extracting some sort of confession, or even apology, from the steel-willed former president.
Frost put his money and career on the line. Nixon had only his pride to lose. But to each, that meant everything in the world – and really was all they had.
Really, I can only see kids or uneducated people not being interested in this magnificently told story. The underhanded comments Nixon tosses to Frost before each interview in order to throw him off his game alone are reason enough to watch this near-perfect film.
Charged with the awkwardness of The Office and the intensity and class of Downton Abbey, Frost/Nixon is the film for anyone who appreciates history at its finest.