Frost/Nixon Ron Howard

Frost/Nixon Ron Howard
Frost/Nixon could easily be re-titled Frost vs. Nixon for this cinematic political boxing match between comedic TV presenter David Frost (Michael Sheen) and impeached 37th President of the United States Richard Nixon (Frank Langella). The film, based on the play by Peter Morgan, follows David Frost as he attempts to make a name for himself in America by interviewing the former President, hopefully coaxing a confession from his sweat-drenched lips. In the opposite corner, Nixon wryly accepts his proposal, believing Frost to be a less than worthy adversary to whom he can easily dictate the terms of the interview, working his way back into the hearts of the American people. Frost soon realizes that he may have bitten off a lot more than he can chew when he can barely keep hold of the reins in the first interview, allowing Nixon to ramble for two hours. With Frost and Nixon's future careers resting in the balance, they're both desperate to emerge victorious, which should have made this an exciting battle to watch. However, Sheen never seems up to the challenge, appearing much too nervous and clueless when faced with Langella's stoic Nixon. The real Frost was an expert interviewer who certainly wouldn't have left key research to the last minute and didn't shrink from Nixon the way the film implies. The result of this characterization is that the parallels between the two men, which the script clearly wants us to draw, lose any effect and we are left thinking that Frost is a bit of a smarmy git. The accompanying "Making Of" documentary is packed with interesting details and is well worth watching. Director Ron Howard, writer Peter Morgan and the cast discuss everything from the ways in which the original stage cast improvised during takes to make the film fresh and immediate to the set design for the room in which the famed interviews took place. "The Nixon Library" is a short featurette that provides a glimpse into the museum of all things Nixon. And in "The Real Interview," we get to see some of the original tapes the play is based on. Unfortunately the interview is intercut with commentary, and we only get a glimpse of one small portion, but it is fun to watch the real Nixon squirm. Also included on the DVD is a feature commentary with director Ron Howard and several deleted scenes. (Universal)