[Marxism] Frost/Nixon

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Dec 2 12:48:28 MST 2008

I have no trouble describing “Frost/Nixon” as the finest Hollywood film 
I have seen this year just as long as it is understood that the 
screenplay was written by a Briton named Peter Morgan, who was also 
responsible for the deliciously snarky “The Queen”. Although I had no 
idea that Morgan wrote “Frost/Nixon”, I was struck immediately by 
similarities between the two movies as I sat watching it.

David Frost is played by Michael Sheen, who was cast as Tony Blair in 
“The Queen”. He seems born to play these types of market-driven hollow 
men. Whether it is hustling votes or viewers, both Blair and Frost were 
more than happy to sacrifice principle for the bottom line. Sheen makes 
his appearance early on in the movie in a modish 1970s double-breasted 
blazer and an ever so phony smile, looking just like a Houston used car 
lot salesman.

As brilliant as Sheen is in his performance, nothing can top Frank 
Langella’s Nixon, which is about as bravura a display of the acting 
craft that I have seen in the last 5 years at least. Since the character 
Richard Nixon invites all sorts of scenery-chewing behavior, it is all 
the more impressive that Langella is careful to make his Nixon appear 
much more human, and thusly more repellent. Since the movie was directed 
by Ron Howard, who I generally associate with hackwork, I was surprised 
to discover that it had the same kind of crackling energy as “The 
Queen”, which was directed by Stephen Frears, a Briton with an obvious 
flair for this sort of material.

full: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/frostnixon/

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