Saturday, December 6, 2008

Jay Leno loves it!

And so will you. Frost/Nixon is out, everybody! Look for it at a theater near you. Seriously, run, don't walk.

I wrote about this film when it was in the works, after watching it twice on Broadway, and I've been eagerly awaiting its advent. Unkind as I was to Ron Howard previously, I will say that if he does as good a job as he did in Apollo 13, it'll be a fantastic movie. On the other hand, I then read the NY Times review of the movie, and Manola Dargis, who seems to have liked the film, said this:

Mr. Howard, a competent craftsman who tends to dim the lights in his movies even while brightening their themes (“A Beautiful Mind”), has neither the skill nor the will to draw out a dangerous performance from Mr. Langella, something to make your skin crawl or heart leap.

I fear that she's right about Howard's competency. On the other hand, I don't know that I would blame this entirely on Howard; Nixon's irrepressibly comic in the play, and apparently was just an insanely weird figure in real life. I don't know that he is a skin-crawling character if he's done true to the record. That doesn't take away from the fact that Morgan and Langella's Nixon is a titanically flawed figure, tragic in his machinations and his self-awareness. Poor doomed-to-be-overshadowed Michael Sheen is equally an amazing David Frost, living life on the surface but well aware of the depths that await him if he can't blend journalism and entertainment.

Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait. I will no doubt go on at length about key differences between the play and film when I see it. There were some very interesting staging techniques that can't possibly be reproduced on film, so I'll be interested to see what they did instead.

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