Director: Ron Howard Language: English Runtime: 122 minutes Links: IMDB “Frost/Nixon,” Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard's recreation of the events surrounding the famous and well-watched 1977 interviews with former U.S. President Richard Nixon and British television personality David Frost, plays more like an intense boxing match than a big Hollywood production. That's all metaphorically speaking, of course, because there are no boxing gloves or a single punch thrown in the film. However, Frost (Michael Sheen) and Nixon (Frank Langella) spend most of their time together bobbing and weaving around verbal jabs and uppercuts in a brutal battle of wits that can only have one winner. And just simply knowing how much these two men had on the line with the interviews makes their bout all the more frantic and intriguing. Frost, a jet-setting womanizer known for doing puff pieces, was never really taken seriously as a journalist, and he pretty much had to risk his career just to get the opportunity to sit down with Nixon. If you want to compare this scenario in today's world, just imagine Ryan Seacrest trying to get Kim Jong Il to give full details on North Korea's nuclear program. And then there's Nixon, who hadn't spoken openly about his role in Watergate since he resigned and was pardoned by President Gerald Ford in 1974. Nixon wanted his constituents to know that everything he did as commander-and-chief wasn't bad, and he felt he could easily outmaneuver Frost and get the American public to once again see him as an honorable leader. Anyone familiar with history should know if Frost is able to get the evasive Nixon to spill the beans on his involvement in one of the nation's largest scandals, but even if you are aware of how it all ends I doubt you'll ever find an insipid moment in this gripping film. Sure, I can fathom how someone could assume that a movie with a large chunk of time spent on two men asking and answering questions while sitting in chairs across from each other would be boring, but there is so much more to the story, which was written by Peter Morgan (“The Queen” and “The Last King of Scotland”). The interviews obviously include the most important moments in “Frost/Nixon,” but the lead up to the climactic main event is just as compelling and meaningful. Frost had to put $200,000 of his own money on the line because the American networks refused to financially back his project, and there was a strong chance the interviews would never come to fruition and bankrupt him in the process. There were also many people behind the scenes who helped Frost with the production, including his producer John Birt (Matthew Macfadyen) and consultants Bob Zelnick (Oliver Platt) and James Reston Jr. (Sam Rockwell), both of whom wanted to give Nixon the trial he never had. But not to be outdone, Nixon also had some guidance in preparing for his time in the spotlight from his agent Swifty Lazar (Toby Jones) and chief of staff Lt. Col. Jack Brennan (Kevin Bacon). The actors who play these secondary characters all give respectable performances, but it is Sheen (“The Queen”) and Langella (“Good Night, and Good Luck”) who help make “Frost/Nixon” one of the best films of the year. Sheen and Langella, who portrayed Frost and Nixon for almost two years in the London and Broadway plays that were also named “Frost/Nixon,” seem right at home in front of the camera and the chemistry they share is simply incredible. But as great as Sheen is at displaying both the cockiness and humility of David Frost, Langella is the one who will receive the majority of accolades, and deservedly so. (Langella has already won a Tony and numerous other awards for his performance on the stage, and a nomination for a Best Actor Oscar should be a shoe-in.) Even with his sagging shoulders and gruff voice, Langella doesn't look exactly like the 37th president, but he completely inhabits the role. It could have been so easy for the performance to turn into a caricature, but Langella creates his own version of Nixon and the end result is nothing short of mesmerizing. Rating: 9 out of 10