Frost/Nixon is about the famous interview by David Frost, who interviewed President Nixon after he resigned from being president.  (And yes, they can do that apparently.  If only this guy had taken that option.)  Directed by Ron Howard, the interview is set up as a “great battle” by two verbal sparring partners.  Nixon is desperate to preserve something of a legacy and regain the spotlight.  Frost is an up and coming Australian and English star who longs again for the limelight of the States, something he lost years earlier.

Spoilers (well, kinda.  I mean, this did actually happen.)  First, there is (thankfully) no Frank Langella nudity and if you’re looking for beer chugging, special effects or cool action scenes, perhaps you really ought to reread the synopsis of the movie.  In the set up, Frost has bet everything, his money and his entire career on an interview that he believes will be worldwide, but only if he and his team can get Nixon to confess some sort of culpability to his Watergate scandal and his criminal activity.  Nixon loves a good scrap and even though he’s starting to show some wear and tear, he tears Frost a new on early on in the first interviews.

Fortunately, Ron Howard’s direction moves things pretty well.  Again, there’s no explosions or car chases, but it’s interesting to see the lengths both men go to make this interview work for their goals.

Kevin Bacon plays one of Nixon’s cronies, trying to keep the old man on course.  The drama unfolds with Frost’s research team (Sam Rockwell and Oliver Platt) wants to nail Nixon in the interview.  But Frost, so distracted by trying to get sponsors for the interview and a network to air it, doesn’t really do his homework.  There’s also a scene in which Nixon calls Frost the night of one of the interviews and tips his hand because he’s drunk.  If you want to know whether or not it really happened, click here, but I suspected as much.

Overall, for a movie about a TV interview, I thought it was pretty good.  I didn’t even mind the mock documentary style of “interviewing” some the characters.  Quite frankly, I’ll go see just about anything Sam Rockwell is in, so take my bias for what its worth.  Plus, sadly, I am old enough to remember Nixon.  People who weren’t around during that era may not understand the anger, even after he resigned.  (Imagine 1/4th of Bush’s crimes, but most people actually giving a shit.  At some level, the political apathy of today kind of undercuts the imapct.)  Ron Howard’s attention to detail is great and he uses archival footage well.  (Maybe not as well as in Milk, but pretty good.)  Frank Langella’s Richard Nixon is spot on.  He’s a crafty scroundrel that finally reaches his limit.  If you like history, go out and see it and if you get stuck in a history class and have to watch it, you could do a helluva lot worse.  I give it 7 out of 10 kegs.