The film Frost/Nixon is based on the factual interviews which took place between British broadcast journalist, David Frost(Michael Sheen) and ex American president Richard Nixon(Frank Langella) during the post-Watergate era. The film documents Frost’s efforts to relight the previously extinguished limelight which shone briefly over his career in the ruthless world of American media. He does this by going head to head with Nixon in an intellectual battle of wits and acumen. Directed by Ron Howard.
The film opens with the intention of establishing both characters. Frost, the easygoing likeable TV personality with an abundance of ambition. And Nixon, the uptight racist fueled by greed and power. The initial 30 minutes of the film are quiet laborious and a struggle to watch at times. The characters seem more manufactured rather than natural with the over-exaggeration of the personal flaws contained in each. It seems to me that the director was absent for the majority of the film and only makes his presence known in the final few scenes.
The plot builds up towards the pivotal moment in which Nixon gives in to submission and apologies for his wrong doing. The interview concludes with the extreme close up of the broken man, the point in which Nixon recognises his own flaws.This is also the cue for the director to begin his work. What follows is a series of desolate bleak images. Ron Howard actually manages to conjure up sympathy for this tyrant. The alienation of Nixon through a series of spectacular shots is so chilling that we the viewers are lulled into a state of sympathy. This in my opinion is the films saving grace, along with the clever role played Michael Sheen.