Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Frost/Nixon - Review

Just saw Frost/Nixon, and was pleasantly surprised. It's no masterpiece, but is a solid piece of filmmaking that is entertaining and seldom boring.

Despite being based on screenwriter Peter Morgan’s celebrated Broadway play, Ron Howard manages to avoid making “Frost/Nixon” seem stagey. There’s nothing new or unique about it, but sharp editing by Dan Hanley and Mike Hill and an intelligently reworked script by Morgan allow the film to be a tame but captivating docudrama unhindered by its stage roots. Frank Langella and Michael Sheen shine in their respective roles of David Frost and Richard Nixon, and the supporting players are all smartly portrayed by a slew of strong character actors (especially Oliver Platt and Sam Rockwell). One slightly irksome quality is the gimmicky use of “documentary” interviews with various characters which is unneeded, but thankfully, easy to brush off.

I can see why the Academy would be drawn to this. Personally, I wouldn't put it in my top five of the year, but I predict it can reasonably end up with nominations for picture, director, screenplay, actor, and film editing.

*** out of ****

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