Irrelevant, but you know it’s sad when you go to buy your ticket, and the guy behind the counter goes “Hey, you got a haircut!” Anyway, on to the movie. As you all know, this movie tells the story of television celebrity David Frost (Michael Sheen), who gets a sudden urge to interview Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) soon after the Watergate Scandal. Also involved are Sam Rockwell, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, and Toby Jones.
As you could probably gather from my pretty short synopsis, I don’t have much to say about the film. It’s kind of aggravating, really. Yes, the acting was great (with the exception of poor Toby Jones, who nearly made me want to laugh at his really forced tough-guy New York accent. Though I guess it’s more laughable when you realize this is the same guy who voiced Dobby the House Elf in Harry Potter). I also loved the symbolism with the shoes throughout the film.
But I really don’t have any overarching negative things to say about the film. I was never bored during its 2-hour time frame. It kept my attention, and I really enjoyed the film. If it were anything, it would be the depiction of Nixon. For a guy frequently described as quiet and to himself and who is horrible at small talk, the only time he ever felt awkward doing any small talk was during the scene it’s actually mentioned in the film. Before that, after that, he seemed perfectly capable of and not awkward at all about chit chatting with anybody.
And in the end, the movie was just, overall, too safe. Ron Howard made a rather predictable film. And I don’t mean that in the sense we all know what happens in the end (the boat sinks! Wait…). But I mean it in that even before I went in, I knew he was going to open it up with audio and/or video of real footage from Nixon and use that every now and then through the film. And the film didn’t make the characters/people anything more than they are set up to be: a naive man who gets some balls and overcomes his opponent (Frost) or a troubled man who comes to terms with what he did (Nixon). Everything was rather straight forward in its presentation, and there wasn’t really anything that made me go “Oh, wow, look at how he did that/portrayed that.” So while I really enjoyed the film as a whole (though they could have shown more of the actual interview stuff, in my opinion), it was no major stride forward in political biopics. But it wasn’t a step back, either. I’d recommend it.
A Keanu 'Whoa'
(P.S. This was a very difficult score to give. I think I really only gave it this score because of the superb acting. Otherwise, it would have gotten a very strong McLovin. So this is a weak 'Whoa', but a 'Whoa', nonetheless.)