Small-screen interviews go to big screen in ‘Frost/Nixon’

Sofa Cinema

  • Wednesday, March 19, 2014 2:15pm
  • News


"Frost/Nixon" rated R

Depending on your age, "Frost/Nixon" will play as a history lesson or a triggered memory. Ron Howard directs the big-screen film based on the small-screen interviews decades ago based on a successful play by Peter Morgan.

Interviewer David Frost enjoyed some success in the United States back in the day when people actually watched interview shows in more than 7-minute segments. As it turns out, Frost’s coup de gras was "landing" a media-wary Richard Nixon for a series of sit-downs after his resignation as president.

Michael Sheen recreates his Frost role from the stage and Frank Langella his role of Nixon. If you ever wondered how important casting is in the film process, it will become perfectly clear as these two actors square off. Even with Richard Nixon’s image emblazoned in mind, Langella’s uncanny vocal intonation and gestures erase any concerns about accuracy.

"Frost/Nixon" is not action-packed, and the scenes when the two leads aren’t sparring almost get in the way of the intensity of the drama. At just more than two hours in length, the film seems long. But, then again, there were more than 16 hours of recorded interviews, so we could consider ourselves fortunate.

"The Wrestler" rated R

Very few actors get the second chance at a career after years on the path of self-destruction. Mickey Rourke, who burst on the movie scene with terrific performances in the 1980s ("Body Heat," "Diner" and "The Pope of Greenwich Village") makes the most of that chance with his performance as Randy "The Ram" Robinson in "The Wrestler."

Whether a fan of the world of wrestling or repulsed by the

absurdity of the "sport," you may be taken aback by the brutality that is portrayed outside as well as inside the ring. As oft-quoted in the promotion of this movie, Randy says," I’m just a broken down piece of meat." His hearing is going. His eyesight is less than it should be. His body has been injected way too many times and he has taken way too many beatings.

In spite of all that, he finds the possibility of companionship with Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), a stripper with a soft spot in her heart. With her encouragement, he reaches out to a daughter he has all but forgotten.

Director Darren Aronofsky was lucky to have Rourke and Tomei, two stars whose talent raised the level of the movie estimably beyond what the script deserved.

The R rating is more than deserved because of brutality, sexual content and language.


"Tell No One" rated R, subtitled

Every once in awhile a good mystery comes along. "Tell No One" is intriguing because you’re never quite sure "Who did it? Or, Why"

A French film with English subtitles, "Tell No One" is the directive given to a pediatrician who still is under suspicion for his wife’s murder eight years prior. There are loose ends to the case and when new bodies are discovered near where the doctor said he was attacked and left for dead and his wife murdered, the police dust off their case files.

The clever use of computer clues and an odd assortment of characters involved in the chase add to the suspense. Even though the ending resolves the case far more neatly than reality, it doesn’t detract from the frenetic intrigue of the race to capture the guilty party, whoever he/she might be.

Rebecca Redshaw can be reached at r2redshaw

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