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400 million people were waiting for the truth 

Year: 2008 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Ron Howard 
Starring: Michael Sheen, Frank Langella, Kevin Bacon, Rebecca Hall  
An image from Frost/Nixon

Forced out of office, the semi-disgraced Richard Nixon spent three years silent. In the summer of 1977, the steely former commander-in-chief agreed to sit in for one all-inclusive interview to confront the time he spent in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his controversial presidency.

David Frost (a compelling Michael Sheen) is the man for the job; a breezy, womanising British showman who intends to secure a place in the hearts of Americans and further his own career. His interest in Nixon is exclusively for sensation, focusing only upon the financial and personal benefits such an interview could attain. Similarly, Nixon (a powerful Langella) agrees to the interview for selfish gains – mainly the massive cheque Frost agrees to give him – but also to regain the respect of Americans and settle the event that ruined his career and reputation.

Flanked by America’s principle critics of Nixon, Frost’s interviews get off to a shaky start. The ex-President runs rings around this shallow talk show host, evading questions about the nation’s disgrace and mending his broken reputation. Only when faced with bankruptcy and the prospect of a flailing career does Frost truly take on the challenge. In the third and final part of the interviewing process Frost finally enters the battle of wits and strategic debate.

Frost/Nixon is a keen conflict of rhetoric, cunning and guts. Howard’s direction is incredibly intelligent, manipulating the audience one way and then another. The treatment of Nixon is sympathetic; not because he has the burden of Watergate on his shoulders, but because he is an old man living in a world of isolation with incomprehensible levels of guilt. Highly recommended.

Victoria Galloway

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Screenings of this film:

2008/2009 Summer Term (35mm)
2008/2009 Summer Term (35mm)