Frost/Nixon
R
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: -3

Drama. Screenplay: Peter Morgan (based on the stage play). Main Actors: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Oliver Platt. Director: Ron Howard

FILM SYNOPSIS: In a nutshell, Frost/Nixon can be described as a modern day David & Goliath story about blind ambition. It is a mesmerizing dramatization of the famous Frost/Nixon interviews in 1977. How David Frost manipulated to win an interview with the former U.S. President forced to resign after the infamous Watergate break-in is almost as riveting as the interviews themselves. Frost was a television talk-show host, a charming womanizing party guy, and a British citizen. Yet he had the audacity to think he could wheedle Richard Nixon into admitting his guilt in the Watergate scandal on live television for the whole world to see. Frank Langella (Nixon) and Michael Sheen (Frost) both recreate their stage roles, which won Langella a Tony award. Frost/Nixon will certainly be a contender for top awards this year.

The story focuses entirely on Nixons role in Watergate, not his accomplishments. With the films release so soon after a very negative presidential campaign, some viewers will find it hard to watch a disgraced leader of the free world trying to restore his dignity. Nixon responds to Frosts aggressive questioning about the war in Vietnam and the Watergate break-in with amazing strength and conviction that he made the right decisions. Frosts insecurities also play a part in how he relates to Nixon. His self-confidence turns to intimidation after his first meeting with Nixon. He is totally unprepared for his adversarys intelligence and tenacity. These interviews will make or break Frost's faltering television career, and there can be only one winner the pressure on both parties is horrendous. This fascinating character study of a modern-day David and Goliath pair begs the question: Which is which?

PREVIEW SYNOPSIS: Although rated R for language, Frost/Nixon has other aspects that will offend as well. Frosts cavalier attitude shows a lack of commitment in personal relationships. His beautiful girl friend/mistress Caroline Cushing (Rebecca Hall) travels with him everywhere, but there is never any indication she will ever be more to him than a trophy. She wears low-cut, revealing outfits, even when she goes with Frost to meet Nixon for the first time. Half kidding and half serious, Nixon suggests Frost should marry her, not for her looks but because she lives in Monte Carlo and doesnt have to pay income taxes. Nixon observes the younger mans lifestyle wistfully, even though he has a loving family who have stood by him through his disgrace.

Violence is limited to graphic video tapes of the innocent women and children killed in Vietnam and of American forces invading Cambodia. Most disturbing is the lack of authentication of the facts: Did the eccentric Nixons mental state really disintegrate as the interviews progressed? It is classified as a drama, implying a fictional account, but most viewers will come away with a bad taste in their mouths for the real characters portrayed in this resurrection of a very dark historical event.

(Editors Note: Mary Draughon is back. A former reviewer for Preview, Ms. Draughon has kindly offered to assist me with reviews. She is taking the time in order to help me and this ministry. Her professional abilities and helpful heart are most appreciated.)

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Universal

Summary
Crude Language: 6 (2 mild and 4 moderate)
Obscene Language: 10 (including 2 f-words)
Profanity: 8 (strong)
Violence: Few times (video tapes of battle scenes in Vietnam and Cambodia)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None but voluptuous woman wears revealing clothes.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Several (both main characters turn to alcohol during times of doubt, no drunkenness, some social drinking)
Other: Frost travels with mistress
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: College age and older

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