“Frost/Nixon” – Joanna Langfield reviews

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Like so many of my generation, I believed, in my very soul that Richard Nixon was, with all apologies to Keith Olbermann, the worst person in the world. So, no one was more surprised than I when, one late summer evening, I almost bumped into the man, walking with daughter Julie, her husband and a secret service guy or two, on Lexington Avenue. And I was thrilled. They, of course, strolled on by. I stood, shocked into stillness, with a big, stupid grin on my face. Oh, my God. It was Nixon, in the flesh. Wow.

This many years later, the President who had to resign still remains an enigmatic legend. Was he really so smart? And, if so, how could he have been so dumb? Those are just some of the questions this award winning play, and now film, try to answer. But, under Ron Howard’s direction, this movie is more successful at looking at other issues: endurance, celebrity and the intricacies of the interview process to name a few.

After all, the story here is really about two men: gadabout TV personality David Frost, a glitzy performer possibly way over his head taking on the disgraced President, a man as desperate for money as he was for appreciation. Michael Sheen does a nice job as Frost, he is ably supported by the wonderful Oliver Platt and Sam Rockwell, but it’s Frank Langella who delivers a real tour de force. His Nixon is cagy, vulnerable and almost kind of sympathetic. Almost.

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Joanna Langfield (Archived Contributor)

Her voice is heard throughout the 50 states and around the world by more than one million listeners on her syndicated radio programs: Joanna Langfield’s People Report and Video and Movie Minute. She’s also seen and heard as a regular contributing commentator on CNN International, CNN, Fox News and CNBC. In print, her articles have been published in such high profile magazines as Video Review and McCall’s. Joanna Langfield is known for taking interviews to another level with probing looks at celebrities’ insights rather than just their latest projects. As a result, she’s secured a niche among the nation’s premier interviewers and movie critics. Joanna began her career on the production staff of a local Boston television station. She then focused her energies towards radio and produced talk shows at WMEX-AM in Boston. After moving to New York, she became executive producer at WMCA-AM for talk show personalities Barry Gray and Sally Jessy Raphael. She began hosting a one-minute movie review spot which, in turn, led to her top-rated weekend call in-show, The Joanna Langfield Show (1980-83). Joanna moved to WABC-AM to host The Joanna Langfield Show on Saturday nights from 9:00pm to midnight. It was the highest rated show in its time slot. From 1987-1989, Joanna hosted Today’s People on the ABC Radio network, which was fed daily to over 300 stations around the country. She also appeared on WABC-TV as a regular on-air contributor. In 1989, Joanna formed her radio production company, Joanna Langfield Entertainment Reports, to syndicate her radio reports. She is considered to be one of the top authoritative commentators on the entertainment industry. Read Lagfield's recent articles below. For her Women On Film archive, type "Joanna Langfield" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).