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October 15, 2008

Lukewarm review for 'Frost/Nixon'


Tough to say who the audience will be for "Frost/Nixon." Politicos and history buffs who followed the landmark TV event? Cinephiles who want to see how successfully an intimate stage play can be translated to a feature film? Michael Sheen fans? (They're out there).

Fact is, the drama's already been earmarked on a whole raft of early Oscar lists (but not ours, though we picked Frank Langella as a best actor candidate).

We don't feel the need to backtrack on that prediction just yet, even after reading the first "Frost/Nixon" review, courtesy of InContention, which, if you'll recall, carries the tagline, "No one needs films awards coverage this deep."

Sure we do.

The film's just been screened in London, and critic Guy Lodge comes away feeling fairly unmoved by it. He doesn't think Ron Howard was the right director for the material, says the movie isn't any more revelatory than the original TV interviews themselves, and calls it "an oddly bloodless viewing experience."

He describes the movie's "sluggish first hour where, with the crucial interviews yet to begin, the historical context is painted in broad, CliffsNotes fashion, with a gallery of reconstructed talking-head interviews and distracting lookalike cameos (There’s Diane Sawyer! There’s Swifty Lazar!) in place of significant internal character development."

That ought to put butts in seats, huh?

We just hope this isn't the beginning of a cavalcade of disappointing Oscar Caliber films that are ready to flood the market.

Speaking of which, we were left similarly disconnected with Clint Eastwood's "Changeling." But for those fans of Oscar winner Angelina Jolie, she'll be on the "Today Show" tomorrow to talk up the period drama, for which she could snag a Golden Guy nomination.

First official appearance since the World's Most Perfect Twins! It's a must see.


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Frost/Nixon is a grand exploration into the dark and dirty political realm when Richard Nixon was president. The acting is superb and the story intriguing.

I HYPED Frost/Nixon on EverHYPE and scored it 89%, which I think is very accurate.

If you get on there, rate me a 5 on it and request friendship.

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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