Why didn’t you burn the tapes?
I can imagine at the time and probably still now that was the first question everyone would have been thinking. With such a scandal why weren’t the tapes exposed of in some way or form. I mean it seems as though everyone involved was waiting for the tapes to be found. You cant exactly deny it if you have been recorded saying certain things. I didn’t really know too much about the interview before seeing the film, although I do have the actual interviews on DVD but have not got round to watching them yet, just to see the difference and how much drama was added to make the film a bit more entertaining.
I really enjoyed the long build and showing how much time, effort and energy it actually took David Frost (Michael Sheen) to actually get the interviews completed and that he took a major chance in putting loads of his own money into the project. But also that he was trying to benefit his career by the interview. Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) seemed to be powered by the money side of it all (but whether this was true I have no idea).
I really do find American Presidents interesting whether it be in films or just in real life, so I found a film like this very entertaining and thought Langella was just fantastic. He really looked, moved and sounded so much like Nixon. He really does deserve his Oscar nomination just for the recognition of his performance. I watched the Oscar round table interviews and found it interesting to know that once Langella left his trailer, everyone on set had to call him Mr. President so he could stay in character and between takes he would stand alone to get the full isolation Nixon would have been feeling at that very moment in time.
Michael Sheen again puts in a fantastic performance (see him as Tony Blair in “The Queen) and has again been overshadowed by the “main” character this time Langella in “The Queen”, Helen Mirren. But I am sure “The Damned United” will eventually get him in the spot light as he really does deserve it.
The film as a whole was greatly entertaining as contained many funny lines and moments. Especially a few from Nixon to Frost before the camera began rolling to record the interview, just to put him off asking the questions.
Will it win best picture? I don’t think so. Was it entertaining? definitely.