"Frost/Nixon" is one of the best films of 2000's. Political dramas are almost never that entertaining, either having a bit too much truth (which can ruin the film entirely) or performances that are good, but mostly are there to attempt to win an Oscar. Thankfully, "Frost/Nixon" is in the same category as "Argo"-- it's whip smart, absorbing, yet it can still appeal to audiences of all sorts. Ron Howard has outdone himself here-- this is in no doubt, his best film.
Taking place just as the Watergate Scandal erupted and Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) resigned from office, "Frost/Nixon" sees the world around the controversial man rather than the world itself. When we're not peeking into the life of the President, we're instead watching David Frost (Michael Sheen), a talk-show host attempting to give a serious interview while trying to save his career. The two personalities, so different, perfectly blend together, and each span of time focusing on one or the other are well spent. What Howard does though, that's so mesmerizing, is that he delivers movie-worthy drama while still maintaining to leave the audience at the edge of their seat, and when the fateful final interview is taking place, we feel just as anxious as the world did on the same day in real-life.
The film never mimics the truth, it rather uses it as a guide. The story itself is highly interesting, and Howard manages to grab the audience's attention as Sheen and Langella manage to give flawless performances that capture everything we know about Frost and Nixon. Their never imitate like a character in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch, but they interpret the two figures with utter perfection.
But "Frost/Nixon" begs the question-- was Nixon really a horrible guy like we all believed, or was his loneliness the source of his biggest mistakes? The film may play out like a tug-of-war, but by the end you can't help but sympathize with him. "Frost/Nixon" ultimately reflects well (not shockingly) on Frost, who looks like an unsung hero. The screenplay, which does a terrific job of separating fact from drama, is very well-written, to the point in which everything feels like real-life.
"Frost/Nixon" is truly a great film. It's never slow, boring, or dumb ... it's fast-paced, entertaining, and suspenseful. Highly recommended.