This is what we do for the joy of the King,
For His peaceable Kingdom,
For a world in despair.
And this is why we bring any hope we can give,
Any bread from the table,
Any touch of His hand.
This is what we do.
This is where we go.
This is why we sing.
This is how we live.
This is who we are.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Movie #2 - Frost/Nixon

Tonight Lyn and I went to our second "Oscar Viewing."  We and the other EIGHT people in the theatre were treated to a very well-produced, well-directed, and well-acted drama-mentary. Frank Langella was a brilliant Richard Nixon, and managed to bring a real humanness to our ill-fated (i.e. "scumbag") president.  Michael Sheen's portrayal of entertainer-turned-journalist David Frost was very good, although I found myself focusing on his hairstyle and SERIOUSLY toothy smile that he flashed continuously.

Somehow or other, I missed the actual interview back in 1977, but seeing the film really took me back. Specifically, it took me back to the living room of 84-year-old Lucile Jenkins, the dear neighbor who became a surrogate grandmother to Lyn and me in our first year of marriage.  I remember spending about an hour (sometimes two) with her every afternoon during the Watergate Hearings in 1974. (The Watergate break-ins occurred in the wee hours of our wedding night, June 16/17, 1972!)  Combining the scandal of the break-in coverup and the escalation of the Vietnam War, it was a really weird time to be an American.  While today's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are full of their own tragedies and horrors, they are practically a romp in the park compared to the atrocities of Vietnam and Cambodia.  All war is hellish; Vietnam was spawned in the darkest pits of Hell!

But I digress.  The film was a great looking glass into the follow-up of those incendiary days.  It also gave fascinating insight to the limited (but effective) media technologies of the late 70s.

Was it Oscar worthy?  Not so much, in my opinion.  Langella was mesmerizing in his acting, so he certainly deserved his nomination for Best Actor.  Since Nixon himself was so stiff and one-dimensional, playing him well made Langella come across that way a bit.  The character didn't offer him much opportunity for developing the nuances one likes to see onscreen.  The final interview scene, however, was the real bread and butter of Langella's performance--and maybe the whole film. 

On a scale of 10, I'd give FROST/NIXON a strong 8.


Brazenlilly said...

Good stuff, Don! This one I probably will wait to see on DVD, since it is the BP nom I'm least interested in, but still plan to see it. I can't wait for you (or me) to see The Reader, because I just finished reading the book, and it was very good. I was picturing Kate Winslet throughout, and I think she's going to be phenomenal. Get on that, will ya? ;)

Lyn said...

We'll do that this weekend - just for you!! I'm looking forward to that one, too.