Doubt and Frost/Nixon

I finally got to two movies over the weekend.  I’ll review them one by one.

First, Doubt.  I didn’t really like this movie.  For one, it was boring.  I thought the dialogue wasn’t interesting enough to keep me glued.  The acting was great, as you would expect, and it was obviously well-made, but I just didn’t care about anyone in the film.  My Dad asked me the next day what the movie was about, and I couldn’t really give him a good answer.  I mean, I guess it was about your life having certainty (as opposed to, well, doubt) and meaning, but I don’t think the movie did a great job of exploring this theme.  And I’m not sure it’s a good enough theme to warrant an entire movie.  Perhaps my more eloquent friends (James, Remy, Gibbs) can speak to this better.  Also, while the acting was great and all, sometimes it seemed a little too over-the-top.  It was based on a play, and it seemed like Hoffman and co. felt like they were in a play at times.  I can’t say anything bad about the three leads, but they’ve been better.  Viola Davis though, was another matter.  This is an actress who was in the movie for LITERALLY one scene.  And she got all of this attention, and even an Oscar nom!  Are you kidding me?  For one scene?  And it was the scene that made me start scoffing at the movie, and one of the reasons I didn’t really like it!  “God made my boy that way, he can’t help it!”  That’s when the movie went from boring to crap.  Anyway, I can think of a ton of other movies you’d be better spent watching, though it wasn’t all bad.  I just kept thinking about something I heard Remy say a while back.  “If they’re going to give Philip Seymour-Hoffman an Oscar nomination for this, they have to give him one for every movie he’s in.”

Ok, Frost/Nixon.  Much better.  Again, a very well-made film.  Some great acting.  And it really helped me understand the events surrounding all of this a lot better.  How much of it was fictionalized, I don’ know, but I was riveted.  They built tension well, I felt that the filmmakers were pretty fair to both sides, and I learned a lot.  For instance, did you know that Dianne Sawyer (!!) was a close insider to Nixon after he left office?  Crazy!  Now, they definitely villified Nixon a bit too much, and tried drawing comparisons to Bush that weren’t there, but overall, a pretty even-handed approach considering it’s Hollywood.  I greatly enjoyed this movie.  My only real complaint was Sam Rockwell’s character.  He was a tool, and totally unnecessary.  Necessary?


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