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I saw the play on Broadway and enjoyed it very much. However, the movie is 20 times better. From the play only Frost and Nixon as characters made an impression. I have no idea if anyone else was in the play --I just do not remember. (and sure I can look it up, but that's irrelevant). The movie provides context ...for everything.

The secondary actors are uniformly excellent, from Kevin Bacon's Jack Brennan, the utterly loyal aide to Nixon and Toby Jones as Swifty Lazar (major player Hollywood agent of the time for those who don't recall)and Oliver Platt as producer Bob Zelnick and Sam Rockwell as James Reston, Jr.
Patty McCormick(remember The Bad Seed? ) plays Pat Nixon and Rebecca Hall plays Caroline Cushing, Frost's girlfriend at the time.

Michael Sheen does a very good job as David Frost (as he did in the play) and Frank Langella--what can I say? He's brilliant. Only a movie could capture the important facial expressions that make his Nixon come alive (and even, at the very end, sympathetic). I haven't yet seen The Wrestler (seeing it tomorrow) but I'll bet anyone that Langella and of Sean Penn will most definitely be competing for the Oscar.

The movie is, I think, more nuanced than the play because you see everything that went into setting up the interviews, the panic on Frost's side when things are going really badly. Also, the whole watching a movie watching tv brings something to the viewing experience that a play cannot.

I've always had this mixed relationship with regard to live theater vs the movies. I always feel more enveloped by movies than plays, although I do enjoy theater and attend it often. I know that many people embrace the immediacy of live theater and say there's nothing like it and in that I agree. The two experiences are almost incomparable. However, (as I've mentioned in an earlier post) as much as I loved the movie Doubt, I'm sorry I missed the live performances of it with Brian O'Byrne and Cherry Jones.

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I saw the film a few days ago and was truly impressed, especially by Langella. It is definitely an Oscar worthy performance if I ever saw one. The touring show was recently here with Stacy Keach as Nixon which would have been interesting to see. Unfortunately we were unable to make it.
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Now having seen Benji Button, The Wrestler, Frost / Nixon and Slumdog Millionare, I think Frost / Nixon nearly comes out ontop at the best film of that bunch and worthy of an Oscar. But so is Slumdog. They're both fine movies.

The Wrestler is great as well... but I won't say anymore about it coz you haven't seen it.
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I've heard mixed things about Slumdog Millionaire and that's one I need to see, too. I can wait for Benji on netflix. I'll let you know what I think of The Wrestler tomorrow night.
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