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Frost/Nixon
David Frost pulled off a journalistic feat when he persuaded Richard Nixon to sit for a set of interviews that lasted for nearly 30 hours. Ron Howard's movie is an adaptation of Peter Mogan's hit play.
F

rost/Nixon
Directed by Ron Howard
(R)

***

British TV host David Frost forces former President Nixon to defend himself.

Frost/Nixon “only hints at what could have been a sharper, smarter look at politics and the media,” said Alonso Duralde in MSNBC
.com. Ron Howard’s adaptation of the hit play by Peter Morgan re-creates a famous set of interviews between British talk-show host David Frost (Michael Sheen) and Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) that occurred in 1977. Nixon had resigned the presidency just three years earlier, and the two men’s “fascinating interplay” made TV history. But Howard and Morgan “dilute” the script with a “tiresome” subplot about Frost’s desperation to be seen as a serious journalist. So what if they take creative liberties? said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. Showing us the character of these men off-camera adds to the film’s “density and complexity”—as well as to its entertainment factor. In general, Frost/Nixon plays like an “intimate, magnified” version of the interviews, said Richard Corliss in Time. “This very fine movie doesn’t make history, but it captures history as few others have.” By convincing an ex-president to sit for nearly 30 hours of filming, Frost pulled off a journalistic feat that remains unrivaled even in the age of 24-hour cable and the Internet.

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