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Frost/Nixon | 2008 | R | - 4.4.5

Fact-based drama about the mid-1970s interview between British broadcaster David Frost (Michael Sheen) and former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon (Frank Langella), who resigned over the Watergate scandal. Over many hours of talking, Frost eventually encourages President Nixon to acknowledge the real motivation behind the circumstances that ended his presidency. It started as a play in London and Broadway. Also with Sam Rockwell, Toby Jones, Matthew MacFadyen, Andy Milder, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Kate Jennings Grant, Patty McCormack and Rebecca Hall. Directed by Ron Howard. [2:02]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman are asleep in bed, and when the man moves to answer the phone we see him bare-chested to the hip; when the woman gets out of the bed we see her bare breasts and back. A husband kisses his wife on the cheek.
 A man asks another man if he has "Someone there that you are entertaining," implying a woman. A man talks about another man "having a go at" the dog (in a joking manner). A man says that another man "screwed everything that moved." A man says that another man has a "playboy reputation." Two men make comments about the Italian shoes that a man wears being "effeminate." A remark is made about a man "fostering prostitution." A man asks another man whether there was "fornication" the previous night.
 A man takes off all of his clothes and jumps into the ocean (we see his bare back, legs, buttocks and side as he twists and jumps in the water). Women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage and bare shoulders in a few scenes. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage. A woman wears a backless dress that reveals her bare back. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage, bare shoulders and bare back.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - We see newsreel footage of wounded people (some blood is shown on wounds) after bombing raids in Cambodia in the 1970s.
 We hear a man say, "I'll just kick them in the teeth." We hear about the bugging of the Democratic Nation Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., and that people were arrested for breaking into the offices. A man talks about having lost two brothers to tuberculosis. A man talks about another man having lost his father to cancer. A person in a crowd of protestors calls out to a man, "There's blood on your hands."
 We see a man on a stretcher and then in a hospital bed and hear that he had a severe case of phlebitis.


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LANGUAGE 5 - 5 F-words and its derivatives, 1 "what the f…," 1 not fully enunciated F-word, 5 sexual references, 3 scatological terms, 5 anatomical terms, 12 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for foreigners, name-calling (hippies, draft dodgers, snobs, dilatants, idiot, bloody, bums, insane, liar, loser, nuts), 3 religious profanities, 9 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol at a banquet, and people drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes at a celebration. People pour and drink champagne at a celebration, a man confesses to having had a drink or two and we see a bottle of alcohol on a table near him, we see a partially drunk glass of champagne on a night table, and we see glasses of champagne on tray tables in an airplane. A man smokes a cigar on an airplane, and a man smokes cigars in a few other scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Obstruction of justice, motive, power, corruption, denial, journalism, journalistic integrity, lying, guilt, Watergate, David Frost, Richard Nixon, James Reston, Jr., Colonel Jack Brennan, Bob Zelnick, G. Gordon Liddy, H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, spying, wiretapping, cover-ups, free society, presidential impeachment, regret, Vietnam, sympathy, presidential pardons, Quakers, slush funds, having purpose, emancipation proclamation, craving respect, loneliness, socio-economic barriers, betrayal, credibility, greed, success, failure, reputation, lack of confidence, Cambodia, Laos.

MESSAGE - President Richard Nixon was a very neurotic person, with deep-seated social anxieties that contributed to the Watergate scandal. The need for catharsis can compel one to confide and confess. Power corrupts.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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