Thursday, December 04, 2008

7 Word Movie Review: Frost/Nixon

Distracting structure but surprisingly good acting duet.
*

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you think it's a contender!! Please answer I've been dying to watch this film.

NATHANIEL R said...

I do, yes

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the buzz around his performance, I'm still surprised to see Frank Langella named one of Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People tonight, the film is not even open yet.

Well, she clearly tried to help his chance, which he doesn't even need.

Please tell me Ron Howard wont get a nom!!!!

E Dot said...

I agree. The structure was a tad disorienting. But it was such a historical thrill ride! Perhaps it was because I wasn't expecting that much, but wow!

Kamikaze Camel said...

grrr, now I actually want to see this.

mrripley said...

i'm thinking its langella vs jenkins for that 5th spot.

Anonymous said...

I think that Penn, DiCaprio, Rourke, Langella and Eastwood are locks. But I won't be surprised to see Jenkins instead of Eastwood if the Academy thinks he has had enough.

NATHANIEL R said...

frankly i thought Sheen was every bit as good as Langella -- maybe even better. But I understand how it goes...

mrripley said...

jenkins need BIG support to unseat eastwood and someone playing ricahrd nixon and i think he may be the tommy lee jones of 2008.

NATHANIEL R said...

i still think Jenkins is going to get in. Maybe i'm deluding myself but I just think the desire to honor him is there.

the big problem is of course the double header of massive star power: Eastwood, and biopic advantage: Langella, that he's up against.

because the way I see it
DICAPRIO, PENN and ROURKE have nothing to worry about.

Katey said...

It occurred to me that Sheen really should have gone supporting-- as much as that is category fraud-- since he's by far the lesser of the two characters. He doesn't have a shot at a lead actor nod, but you're right, he's pretty great in it.

I'm looking forward to seeing this one again the more I think about it .

Anonymous said...

So Opie didn't ruin "Frost/Nixon" then? That's a relief. I want Frank Langella to be nominated so bad. It's his time. I hope that Michael Sheen isn't overlooked again either.

Anonymous said...

I think they'll place Michael Sheen in supporting when it's all said and done. I think the final five will be Rourke, Penn, Clint, Leo, and Langella. Richard Jenkins will have to fight all season long to break up that lineup. I think the most vulnerable of those five is Leo.

E Dot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E Dot said...

Acting-wise, I also think Leo is the weakest of the bunch. It's his star power that's keeping him afloat. As I see it, Penn, Rourke, Eastwood, and Langella are locks. It'll come down to Jenkins vs. DiCaprio.

And I don't know how Sheen can be put in supporting? He's a title character who's in almost every scene (if not more than Langella).

Julia said...

Gosh I hope Michael Sheen gets a nom this year. He's absolutely one of the most underrated actors working today, and in my opinion he got robbed for The Queen.

Actionman said...

I am looking forward to this but there's a few others I want to see a bit more (Slumdog, Revolutionary Road, Button, Milk)

NATHANIEL R said...

e dot... do we really know about Clint in gran torino though? I'll admit if he's any good and if the movie is good they'll be excited about it but do we know this? NBR isn't exactly a reliable bellweather. They love him even more than Oscar and they make REALLY odd choices sometimes

i'm holding out hope that unless he actually deserves it they ignore Clint for once and give someone who's contributed a lot to the industry with no recognition really a chance.

adam k. said...

So I guess Brad Pitt is not even an issue anymore? Sad. At least tell me he's running a strong 7th.

If Button is the hard hitter everyone's telling us it is, then I think we'll at least see Brad at the globes... (on Angie's arm if not as a nominee himself, he says sheepishly)

NATHANIEL R said...

e dot... tell that to Casey Affleck also a title character in every scene (and more than his co-star) for THE ASSASSIONATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD

This is definitely a two-lead film. It's almost Sleuth ;)

Peter Nellhaus said...

The alternate version: Frost/Nixon.

NATHANIEL R said...

omg. i love it. shoulda been a post! ;)

Anonymous said...

Michael Sheen's never making lead, so if he wants to be nodded, he'll convince the higher-ups to place him in supporting. Them's the breaks.

Derek said...

DiCaprio is in. He's been nominated for three performances inferior to this one.

E Dot said...

Point taken. Although I think Eastwood has been set on "default nomination" for years now. I'm not sure if the Academy will let up just yet. But you're right, it's all speculation.

As far as Sheen goes, if that's the case, he'll have no problem getting a nomination, don't you think? Not only was he fantastic, but he was the key force driving the movie.

We'll have to see if the movie picks up steam. I think it will.

NATHANIEL R said...

adam k -- y'all know i love Brad (easily one of my favorite movie stars of my life) but i don't think he has a good shot even if Benjamin Button is huge. (even the GLobes will be difficult since most of the contenders are set for the Drama race).

He's obscured by f/x a lot (and that doesn't get them excited like latex does) or rather he is acting through f/x (like um...andy serkis, only it's more recognizably brad) and they don't really care about that. Plus passive observing character. Cate & Taraji are the ones who get the more awardable type of scenes.

but even so i could see BB as a big contender without any acting nominations.

Katey said...

So BB and Slumdog are BOTH big contenders without acting nominations? Wow. This year may turn out even crazier than I expected.

E Dot said...

Also, to add to my Eastwood comment, I think his chances for getting a directing nod and/or producing nod for 'Changeling' is bleak. They may compensate for that "snub" with an acting nomination...

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

It's funny you mention distracting structure, Nat. I have a couple of questions. Does that structure have anything to do with it being adapted from a play?
Which film (Doubt or Frost/Nixon) do you think suffers too much in that way (being too theatrical, too "stage-y")? Which do you think has a better shot at a BP nom?

NATHANIEL R said...

katey well BB might get acting nods... who knows. But it's not an actors film the way something like Rev Road is.

Anyway... it's not unheard of. Remember 2003: 3 of the BP nominees had no Oscar nods. Without Mystic River there would've been practically no acting nominations for Best Picture contenders.

the know nothing unlike the case with Doubt i haven't seen the play this time. So i couldn't say. It's just structured like it's a documentary (talking heads and all) only it's not a documentary. It kept taking me out of the movie but otherwise I liked it. I never like Ron Howard movies so I'm thinking it has a good chance with Oscar since they don't have anything against his movies the way I do ;)

eDot isn't it funny how some stars are considered "snubbed" merely by working in the first place ;) like they don't have to do anything actually worth calling "BEST" (Changeling. zzzz) to be considered snubbed.

Derek i agree. except for the all three inferior performances part. I lovelovelove his work in gilbert grape. Love it. But he's terrific in RR

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

See, I don't like Ron Howard movies to begin with, so I have to overcome a lot of biases just to be able to see it and view it objectively. Plus, someone once broke up with me because I didn't like "A Beautiful Mind" so I have bad associations with Mr. Howard.

I still think that either Doubt, Revolutionary Road or The Reader will be shut out of the BP race because of the NBR awards.

NATHANIEL R said...

i don't think the NBR has that kind of power. THE READER wasn't going to make it too best picture regardless (too distant emotionally ---even though that;s what the material called for so i'm glad they went that way)

as for DOUBT and REV ROAD... i guess we wait and see how the GLOBES & BFCA respond

Derek said...

I say Benjamin Button gets at least one acting nomination.. here's why (admittedly completely useless trivia):

You have to go back more than 20 years to Empire of the Sun in 1987 to find the last winner of NBR's Best Director prize whose film didn't go on to receive at least one acting Oscar nomination.

;-)

Derek said...

I remember when Michael Mann won in 2004 and trying to use that statistic to prove that Tom Cruise would get a nomination...

...I had no idea at the time that the nomination would go to Jamie Foxx :(

Arkaan said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see if the structural problems Nathaniel mentions actually came from the play (which I have read). Anyway, I don't have high hopes (I don't think the play is all that anyway), but I will say that there is no way Sheen is supporting Langella. He's either leading or he's leading.

NATHANIEL R said...

"He's either leading or he's leading"

I love it! Can I steal it for a new catchphrase? ;)

Arkaan said...

Steal away, with compliments.

josh said...

do u think emile hirsch has a chance for a supporting nod in milk because i thought he had the most underrated performance.

Bill_the_Bear said...

I was somewhat disappointed in Langella's performance, in that his accent seemed to waver too much. There were times that he was trying really hard to imitate the real Nixon, and times when he just didn't bother.

I think that Sheen was better in that respect, as he didn't even try to imitate the real Frost.

If it were come down to Langella vs. Jenkins for the 5th slot, I hope it would be Jenkins.

On another topic, last weekend I caught "Eldorado," Belgium's entry in the Foreign Film category; it's playing at an arthouse here in Montréal. It's interesting to see the Belgian version of an American road movie, but there's no way that it will get a nomination, IMHO.

Ross said...

I think that the actual nominees will be:

EASTWOOD
JENKINS
LANGELLA
PENN
ROORKE

DiCaprio has little support right now. The film got nominated by the HFPA, but I think it's going to be totally snubbed by the SAG. And critics are divided. Some really hate it. Jenkins is more of a first place getter. He'll get more 1 places and will sneak in over Di Caprio.