Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Motski's Oscar Watch Part 4

Hi folks, a little delayed as usual, but here my next review, this time it's...


I must admit I was not expecting to enjoy Frost/Nixon. Something about an Oscar nominated film by Ron Howard seemed awfully safe and unexciting. However I have been proved wrong (as often happens).

Frost/Nixon is a riveting film built on powerful performances from the leads, Michael Sheen and Frank Langella. Both actors are exceptional in their roles, in fact when Michael Sheen first speaks, he nails Frost's nasal drawl so well it's hard to fight back a chuckle. The voice effected for Langella's Nixon could never claim to be so faithful, but it is his performance that is the main draw. While Frost's smarmy chat show host takes time to warm to, Nixon is immedietly engaging. Direct and funny, Langella does much to humanise the characature allowing us understand the mentality behind his decision making.

The film is sharp and trim, building to the finale interview with little excess. The faux documentary interviews that intersperse the narrative give gravitas to the situation and add an awareness of the interview's importance to the American public. These interviews also give extra time for the excellent supporting cast to shine ( a cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Kevin Bacon and Toby Jones in the small but memorable role of Swifty Lazar).

Despite this I have to admit I was a little disappointed by the somewhat two-dimensional role offered Rebecca Hall. Little explanation is given of who her character was or what she did for a living, other than that she flies first class and is Frost's love interest. It seems a bit of a waste of a talented actress who impressed in The Prestige and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, especially in such a male centric story.

This is a minor quible however, as the film is an engrossing character study of the struggle between two men at very different stages of their career. 8.5/10

Coming soon... A review of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

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