Jonathan Valin -- Sat, 12/27/2008 - 23:17

"Frost/Nixon," director Ron Howard's film adaptation of Peter Morgan's play, ends with a title card that informs us that after he resigned the Presidency in the wake of the Watergate Hearings, Richard Nixon was never "rehabilitated" in the public's eye and mind, and yet it seems to me that "Frost/Nixon" does everything in its power to do just that--to make us pity one of the most pitiless sons-of-bitches (a favorite Nixon word) ever to hold office in the United States and to turn a TV interview that was (at the time) nowhere near the lopsided victory that the movie claims it was into a watershed moment (as if any of us gave or gives a shit about whether David Frost lost his shirt and his rep over a publicity stunt). I guess the passage of years has softened some into a forgiving forgetfulness (thank God I won't be around to see how some Hollywood hack ends up "rehabilitating" Dick Cheney  twenty years from now). When Oliver Stone showed far less of a sob-story evenhandedness toward our current benighted president in his recent film "W," he was excoriated by the critics for being too "easy" on his subject. Apparently "Frost/Nixon" gets a free pass. (Stone, BTW, also made a much fairer, less sentimental, and infinitely more imaginative and engaging movie about Nixon, who comes out of it a considerably grander and more complex villain than he does in this sentimental slop.) What we have here is a crowd-pleasing, Opie-version Nixon, a poor sad pity-me Checkers-speech Nixon, in short, the Ron Howard Nixon, who as a director here shows his usual facile simple-mindedness and sentimentality by swallowing Peter Morgan's malarkey and then dishing it out to us as the emmis. Yeah, Langella and Sheen are great in roles they originated and played on the London stage (Langella is especially wonderful), but turning Richard Milhous Nixon into a figure of wicked farce and then buying into his Pagliacci act, IMO, almost justifies reconvening the Watergate Hearings. Mark my words: This admittedly entertaining, congenial (because it answers to our need to view our presidents, no matter how badly they govern, as soulful honorable men), morally bankrupt crap is going to win some Academy Awards. IMO, lies as large and disfiguring as these don't deserve them, no matter how beguilingly well-acted.

sheepherder -- Sun, 12/28/2008 - 18:09

 And I would still take tricky Dick Nixon over George Mcgovern or HHH any day.  Wasn't impressed with frost/Nixon and it would have been nice if Opie kept his biases to himself.
And I take 4 or 8 years of Dick Cheney over a candy assed communist like Obama any day.  What else to you call a senator with a more liberal voting record than the Senate's only socialist.   And its a shame he only thinks elites with degrees from Ivy league schools are cabinet worthy.
You should spend some time on the internet reading about how our enemies cant wait for Obama to take the oath.  They have big plans for "america". And without  folks running the country who don't care about what the rest world thinks about our policies thousands of this country's citizens are going to pay  with their lives.  How many Us citizens were hurt or had their civil rights taken away by W?
W and Cheney kept this country from being attacked again.  Gore would not have been able to do the same thing with retreads from the Clinton National Security team.  And the DOD budgets during the Clinton years decimated our anti terrorist capabilities. SEAL teams and Delta didn't have enough money for adequate training. And a Gore admin would have continued this. I was there.
My advice Mr Valin avoid travel to LA, NYC, Boston, Miami, Chicago and DC during the next four years.
And Opie and Andy need to make a Mayberry reunion movie.

Shenandoah Valley, VA

Jonathan Valin -- Sun, 12/28/2008 - 18:20

 Good God.
<<My advice Mr Valin avoid travel to LA, NYC, Boston, Miami, Chicago and DC during the next four years.>>
And my advice to you is not to go to any more movies. You might have a stroke.

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