Monday, January 26, 2009


OK, I know it's been out for quite a while, but I just finally got around to seeing Frost/Nixon yesterday, on a frosty afternoon, in a theater full of people who were certainly old enough to remember the 2 main characters. This being Boulder, it is likely some of the war protester Nixon railed against so often were in the theater.

The film sets the Frost interviews of Nixon as a battle of wits between Frost, who wants to "give Nixon the trial he never had" and Nixon, who is trying to redeem his reputation, in hopes of "getting back in the game". The sparring between the 2 is excellent, with Nixon winning the first rounds until Frost realizes the skills of his opponent, and takes the game seriously. By the way, interesting fact about Nixon the strategist: Nixon was an expert poker player, who financed his first political campaign with money won playing poker while in military during WWII.

Also interesting is that Frost was pursuing the American Dream with this project. He risked everything on this project, in an effort to be a success again in America (his US show had been canceled a few years earlier) and get his table back at Sardi's.

I couldn't help but think, as I watched Nixon manipulate Frost early on, what a mental giant Nixon was. In fact, in terms of brain power, he and Clinton certainly reign over all other presidents in my lifetime. Yet, they both thought they were clever enough to cover up their indiscretions, and the cover up is what bit them both. Clinton was a particular disappointment in this regard, having had Tricky Dick's mistakes to learn from.

I'm pretty sure the appeal of this film is mostly to those of us who are old enough to remember the Nixon years. But, it is very appealing to someone like me, who recalls spending a lot of time one summer watching the Watergate hearings on TV.

1 comment:

Budd Bailey said...

The movie just opened this past weekend in Buffalo.

Maybe the theaters were too busy playing "Piranha" to have room for it.