The first reviews for presumed Best Picture contender Frost/Nixon — Ron Howard’s take on Peter Morgan’s play — are in! The results? Bad! In Contention’s Guy Lodge struck first:
“Howard’s hands-off direction makes for an oddly bloodless viewing experience, with a lot of talk standing in for any fresh perspective … It’s difficult to think of a director less-suited to take on the intricate, minutiae-obsessed writing of Peter Morgan than Howard.”
The trades are nicer, but neither was awed; Variety’s Toddy McCarthy calls it “effective,” but, in stretches, “dry and prosaic,” and The Hollywood Reporter’s Kirk Honeycutt is generous with left-handed compliments (“Howard continues to be virtually the only American director to achieve such a high degree of professional skill without displaying a trace of a cinematic personality”). Practically all reviews praise Frank Langella’s performance as Nixon, but only the London Times liked the movie itself without qualification. And another awards hopeful bites the dust! Wall-E is so going to win Best Picture.