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How ‘Frost/Nixon’ measures up
Does the movie accurately portray the legendary TV showdown?
 

Frost/Nixon, about the legendary TV interviews that resigned President Richard Nixon granted to British talk-show host David Frost in 1977, said Nathan Rabin in The Onion’s A.V. Club, “finds an intriguing new angle on one of history's most documented and fascinating figures.” Frank Langella delivers a “masterful performance” as Nixon, demonstrating how “an ugly, unpleasant man with a hangdog face, gravelly voice, perpetual 5 o'clock shadow, and sad eyes rose from nothing to become the most powerful man in the world.”

It’s just too bad that director Ron Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan don’t seem to “trust moviegoers’ intelligence,” said Alonso Duralde in MSNBC.com. They undercut “some of the film’s most powerful moments by tossing in scenes where the characters tell the audience what it has already seen,” and they “dilute” a good chunk of the movie “with a tiresome underdog story about Frost and his accomplices bucking the odds.”

But Frost/Nixon “offers considerable insight into the Nixon mystery,” said David Denby in The New Yorker. It’s also “fully absorbing and even—when Nixon falls into a drunken, resentful rage—exciting.” Still, it’s hard to “escape the feeling that it carries about it an aura of momentousness that isn’t warranted by the events.”

 

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