Ron Howard's FROST/NIXON made a typical one-on-one interview as exciting as an early morning boxing main event!
In the red corner, Ex-US President Richard Nixon. In the blue corner, "novice journalist" David Frost.
Here's the "tale" of the tape:
Nixon was the first US president to resign from office. But since Ford immediately pardoned him, America was denied of a trial that would prove (or disprove) Nixon's abuse of power.
To redeem himself, Nixon looked for a "novice" journalist he could manipulate. He chose a British talkshow host, David Frost, to do a no holds barred interview...then he realized, he made the worng choice.
Here's a blow by blow account of the match:
Round 1 - "Nixon The Man". Round to Nixon, 1-0
Round 2 - "Vietnam War". Round to Nixon, 2-0
Round 3 - "Foreign Policies". Round to Nixon, 3-0
Round 4 - "Watergate Scandal". A KNOCKOUT BY FROST!
Just like any Ron Howard movie, FROST/NIXON will stir your mind. But Ron Howard is not selfish with the answers, and that makes thinking in his movie really fun!
In A BEAUTIFUL MIND, he taught us Math. In DA VINCI CODE, he taught us "history". In APOLLO 13, he made us part of mission control. In FROST/NIXON, he made us TV producers and asked us to balance sensationalism and journalism.
Ron Howard has a way of putting us in different seats to experience something out of our realm.
Ron's experience as a director was evident in his vision for FROST/NIXON...he did mocumentary style (a trend we have seen in Hollywood this 2008, e.g. The Office and Milk). But he did it as pure as possible, no humour...no drama. FROST/NIXON is more of a reenactment. It went for realism. The showbiz life of David Frost was scrapped in the film, and the focus all went to the controversial one-on-one interview. Nothing more than that...and nothing less as well. And it worked perfectly for the film. A very fresh approach
But in spite of the medium, Ron didn't forget to turn those cameras around to show the story "behind-the-scenes", ie:
- How Frost prepared for the interview
- How Frost risked his career and money just to have that Nixon interview
- How Nixon planned to manipulate Frost
- And how Nixon made the mistake of creating an emotional bond with the person who will grill him later.
Ron was able to develop his character in a slow but sure way.
Intellectual Oscar voters will go ga-ga over this film...but those looking for more entertainment will certainly settle for MILK
FROST/NIXON has the most number of nominations in the upcoming 2009 Golden Globe Awards.