DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Read Chris's film review of Frost/Nixon
Frost Nixon

For every entertaning director's commentary there seem, sadly, to be at least twice as many which, although occasionally interesting, fail to really hit the mark. Such is the case with Ron Howard's guide to his film. Despite periodically offering a snippet about the filmmaking process, such as the "challenges" faced by opening out a stage play into a film - challenges, which one could argue, are never quite met - this is a dry affair.

While its interesting to hear how the constraints of the budget led to still photos often being used and enhanced digitally in favour of location shoots and entertaining enough to be told how onset banter between Sam Rockwell, Matthew Macfadyen and Oliver Platt was somewhat disruptive but ultimately benefited the film, none of this is earth-shattering.

Copy picture

Howard is also silent for several periods, making you wonder if he may have, in fact, sent himself to sleep as well as viewers.

This feeling of dullness also washes over the deleted scenes - snips from the film which are, in fact, for the most part extended versions of what made it to the screen. There are seven here: Resignation Speech (2:29); Frost Over Australia (1:28); Nixon Farewell (3:50); Nixon Farewell (Video Version) (3:50); Extended 1st Cut - Research Montage (4:14) and it's pretty easy to see why each was cut for length. Disappointingly, there is no directorial commentary to indicate why they fell by the way side, but it's safe to assume it was due to runtime constraints.

The most interesting material on the DVD is to be found in the additional Making Of and two featurettes - The Real Inerview (7:25) and The Nixon Library (6:30). The Making Of features, as you would expect, all the main players and crew, plus an endorsement of the film by the real David Frost. More interesting, perhaps, is the detail it goes into reguarding the costume design ("I thrive in the Seventies," says Sam Rockwell) and shooting style, which aimed to mimic the time period.

The Real Interview sees Langella, Sheen and others talk about the film as we are treated to snippets from the original TV show intercut with the movie. It's interesting to note that Langella actually embues Nixon with rather more charisma than he seems to have in the original interviews and the comparison of the two is fascinating.

Finally, there is a feature about The Nixon Library, presumably included in the interests of 'balance' since, although interesting enough, it does rather play like a party political broadcast for the Nixon Wasn't A Bad Bloke Really Party.

All in all, this is an okay set of extras, all of which - along with the main feature - are well subtitled. The commentary would have benefited greatly from some secondary input either from writer Peter Morgan or some of the cast and, though the other extras are more entertaining, they don't satisfy as well as they might.

Reviewed on: 20 May 2009
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Frost/Nixon packshot
Timely restaging of the Frost/Nixon televised interview and duel of wits.
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Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Director

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