Friday, January 30, 2009


I know I'm really behind but I'm catching up. This is my second of the Best Picture nominees that I have seen. So here they are the Best Picture Nominees for 2008:

Slumdog Millionaire -
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button -
The Wrestler -
Frost/Nixon -
Milk -

"I'm Not a Crook." After those immortal words Richard Milhaus Nixon (Frank Langella)promptly resigned from the Presidency and was quickly pardoned before an investigation could ensue. David Frost (Michael Sheen), a has been British TV host, exiled to Australia to do meaningless interview shows, discovers a way to get himself back on top. He will pay Richard Nixon an insane amount of money to try and get the scoop of the century about Watergate and the Vietnam War. And this actually happened. In the late 70's David Frost--under scrutiny from the mainstream media in the U.S. and abroad got his 3 part Interview with Nixon and the rest is now history.That in a nutshell is the movie--David Frost was considered small potatoes. Even Nixon and his people though the interview would be a cakewalk, but David Frost did collect a crack team of American investigators in James Reston, Jr. (Sam Rockwell) and Bob Zelnick (Oliver Platt) who help dig up the information for David. There are also some good performances from Kevin Bacon as Nixon's former Chief-of-Staff Jack Brennan and also from Matthew MacFadyen who played David Frost's loyal Producer John Birt. In a sense this is a cat and mouse game of wits between the former President and the talk show host.There is no question that Frost/Nixon is a very compelling film with great performances---but like Milk, this should not have been nominated for Best Picture. Frank Langella is at his best here and is going to give Sean Penn a run for his money for Best Actor. There are also great performances from Michael Sheen and Sam Rockwell. But here's the problem, for a good portion of the movie it's just David Frost sitting across from Nixon having an interview. Yes it was interesting how Richard Nixon likes to play mind games with his interviewer and it becomes a battle of wits, but in the end it's just two guys sitting down talking. Now maybe others would disagree with me here, I know the Academy has it's biases, but I thought the Best Picture category was about mass appeal. Frost/Nixon has not done particularly well even as a Best Picture nominee--which begs the question? Should it have been nominated at all. Box Office, I'm sorry, has to be a factor for choosing Best Picture. So far since it's release in December it has made only 14 million dollars. That is pathetic for a possible Best Picture nominee.That all being said--Frost/Nixon is an interesting film to watch and you should watch it but I don't think you need to run off to the Movieplex -- it can wait till DVD.

Grade: 3 Buckets

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