I saw that Frost/Nixon got a best picture Oscar nod and Frank Langella got a best actor nomination. It’s a pretty great film. I was fortunate enough to see the play it was based on in 2007 when it was on Broadway. The two principals in the movie, Frank Langella and Michael Sheen also did the play. Here’s a quote from the New York Times theater critic’s review regarding Langella’s stage performance:
No screen, big or small, could accommodate such showy grandeur.
Well, I don’t think that’s entirely true, but there is an added dimension to a live performance.
One of the penultimate scenes takes place before the final, most crucial, interview between Frost and Nixon. The scene is a drunken middle-of-the-night phone call that Nixon makes to Frost. The incident is a fabrication—the author taking liberties with history—but it’s a master class in acting.
The scene is well-filmed but I kept flashing back to the play. Instead of the back-and-forth editing from one actor to the other that’s in the film, watching the two actors stand alone on a stage toe to toe and duke it out was the best kind of magic.
I wish I could drag everyone to just one really great play so you could see what all this fuss is about. When you find something that works for you—a new piece of music or a book—don’t you want to share it with everyone you know so they can see how satisfying it is?