Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan
This motion picture has been nominated for five Academy Awards:
Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay and was also nominated for the corresponding Golden Globes and other prestigious prizes.
And it is a mesmerizing, fascinating, enchanting battle between a president that has had to resign after the Watergate scandal and a 'talk show host' that had been dismissed as lightweight before the confrontation.
Frost/Nixon does not go into the details of the most spectacular scandal in politics so far- we'll have to see where the Muller, Russia investigation will end- this was done in All The President's Men and other classics.
The audience is introduced into the subject, we see the departure of the helicopter and some of the aspects of the end of the Richard Nixon administration, but most of the spectacle will be furnished indirectly, by the guilty president himself.
If the American president was a world known figure as the leader of the free world, David Frost, in spite of some success in Britain, Australia and for a while in the United States, is a rather less familiar entity, but his ambition knows no limits.
His project is to interview Nixon and thus create a sensation, for the departed leader has kept silent about Watergate and almost everything else.
The issue of the payment is important, for they offer, after negotiations with the agent, an unprecedented, record breaking six hundred thousand dollars, whereas networks do not pay for news interviews.
Indeed, it will nearly bankrupt David Frost, who ends up putting everything he has and taking huge loans to cover the estimated cost of over two million dollars.
The former president is a very smooth operator, intelligent, cunning, very skilled and sure, up to a late point in the game, that he will win in front of a man without a background in political analysis and known for his womanizing, superficial looking shows.
It must be said that, although Watergate was a disaster and the attitude of the unrepentant Nixon is loathsome, reminding present day viewers of The Donald and his feeling that he can pardon himself, is above the law, the only American Supreme Commander to have resigned has had some great contributions, like establishing relations with China, which was a brilliant, daring, extraordinary move.
In the first parts of the interview, the politician dominates the agenda, has answers that are very long, twenty three minutes, in which he talks about his achievements and it looks like this will be a fiasco.
The whole enterprise would just serve to rehabilitate Nixon and show the world what a great leader he was...indeed, in desperation, one member of the Frost team points to a camera man who would vote with the former president, after hearing all the laudatory talk.
David Frost is not just under editorial, professional pressure, but the financial scheme is about to collapse, as all the networks refuse to get involved with the interview and pay anything for it.
There comes the last part and the only remaining chance and before that, Nixon calls his interlocutor, late in the evening, for a conversation that he would later forget, maybe because of the few drinks he had had.
In the last part, Nixon starts looking like Trump, saying the president is anyway above the law and finally admitting that he has committed crimes.
Frost/Nixon is a fabulous film, if not always, at least for many scenes.