Saturday, March 05, 2011

Frost/Nixon and the sin of television

I finally got around to watching the 2008 movie Frost/Nixon, an adaption of the post-Watergate television interviews between David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.  I'd had it stored on the PVR for months and after watching it over the last couple of days, I'm happy I kept it.  Like I said in my recent review of The King's SpeechWho needs boring history books when we have fabulous historical films like this

In fact, the closing of the movie contains a wonderful quote about television from historian and journalist, James Reston Jr. (unsure he actually said it, but I like it still the same).
The first and greatest sin or deception of television is that it simplifies, it diminishes great complex ideas, trenches of time, whole careers become reduced to a single snap shot.
And so goes my thoughts about the film.  An immensely complex story that comes down to a few minutes of heart felt reflection and a close up.  I've watched a few of the original interview segments, and I think the movie has done a decent job in representing the original. I didn't know a lot about Nixon, but the movie shows that Nixon was a very intelligent man and even charming at times.  Frost was perhaps out of his depth, but recognized a massive TV exclusive, a monumental opportunity for his career and he pulled it off.  Wonderful acting and storytelling, Rebecca Hall was a lovely distraction and the production was wonderful.  4/5.

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