I saw Frost / Nixon last night, and was amazed at the terrific suspense to nearly the very end – though I knew how the movie would turn out! Even having lived through this history, I was still amazed at the background, both on Nixon and especially on David Frost, who always made it look so easy.
The work of David and his team to make this happen in the face of incredible obstacles – sheer stubbornness on the part of a guy who’s public persona is all about paying attention and really being with everyone he meets – focused in who they are and what they need – not his own needs. Excellent acting in the supporting roles, too – particularly the historian on David’s side, and Jack on Nixon’s side.
But the stars are Frost and Nixon. Their interactions, using the informations their teams have gotten on the other. Their respect for each other. Their knowledge that this is a duel to the death – and only one will survive. I had never had compassion for Richard Milhouse Nixon – until now. What a magnificent scene those confessional moments made. Langella even looked like Nixon at the end.
Ron Howard, producing and directing, deserves enormous credit as well. That creepy phone call, those Italian shoes – perfect details to illuminate this story.
A great movie and well done.