Bob Rice

An internationally famous speaker, musician, and writer, Bob Rice looks at the beautiful and the bizarre of life through a Catholic perspective. Also includes articles and excerpts from books he's working on.

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Location: Steubenville, Ohio, United States

My desire is to share the love of God to everyone I meet through the many gifts God has given me. My full time job is teaching evangelization and youth ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH. About two or three times a week I travel around the country proclaiming God's word or do a concert/lead worship. I've published many articles and I'm working on my first novel. 12 years ago, I married the love of my life and now we have 5 beautiful children. You can find out more about me and download lots of free stuff on my webpage-

Monday, February 16, 2009


For today’s post, I’m going to pretend that I’m a movie critic.

Last week, while in Baltimore, I got to finally catch a showing of Frost/Nixon. I heard about it back in December from a lot of rave critic reviews, but could never seem to find it playing anywhere. For a while, only one theater in Pittsburgh had it. Then it went into “national release”, but still was difficult to find. Thankfully, the artsy clientele of the great city of Baltimore gave it enough viewings for my friends and I to catch a show.

The movie is about a television interview between David Frost and Richard Nixon. David Frost was a “talk show host” personality trying to score a serious interview and make his way back into the American public’s eye. President Nixon had resigned three years earlier over the Watergate scandal, but had never admitted he did something wrong or apologized for his actions. Nixon wanted to get back into the political game and hoped an in-depth interview would redeem him. It’s the story of two desperate men in a “no holds barred” contest that 400 million people ended up viewing. Though the supporting cast was excellent, the movie was it’s strongest when the camera went back and forth between the two of them in the interview scenes. Michael Sheen (Frost) does an excellent and subtle job as the interviewer. Frank Langella (Nixon) is nominated for an Oscar, and it is well deserved.

But the one who impressed me the most was Ron Howard, the director. The movie has a marvelous pace to it. Howard takes his time, a calm slow build to a dramatic finish. It’s like listening to an Eric Clapton solo- it’s not about speed, but style.

Howard brings us back to the 70s with amazing detail. It never feels like a 70s parody- the fashion, the cars, the hairstyles, they all seem to fit. Of course, Howard is bringing us back to a time he is intimately familiar with, since he lived through it as a young man. And he does well to keep the focus, not on culture, but on the characters.

This is his second “historical” movie, the first being “Apollo 13”. I think he is at his best when he is filming history. Another two of his great films, “A Beautiful Mind” and “Cinderella Man”, were true stories set in a historical context. But those were more about relatively unknown people. Apollo 13 and Frost/Nixon were about widely known events, at least at the time.

Howard brings us back to that time. For those who lived through them, they are a powerful reminder and a “behind the scenes look” at what happened. For those of us who weren’t there, it is a fascinating history lesson.

Now the phrase “history lesson” and “exciting movie” are rarely said in the same sentence, and this is probably why the movie has not had as much commercial success as other Oscar Nominees. What is so special about an interview with a washed up television personality and a former president? In light of other political scandals, what was the big deal about Watergate? And how can a drama star Richard Nixon, one of the most caricatured presidents of our time?

There are so many ways this movie could have failed, yet it was one of the most riveting dramas I have seen in the cinema in a long time. The interview scenes alone were worth the price of admission, and the historical background was fascinating.

I highly recommend it, but since I know there are some younger readers of the blog you should know that it is rated R for “some language”. You can find a more detailed summary of why it is rated R by clicking HERE.

And since every real movie critic needs some kind of catch phrase to say what they think of things, I am giving this movie two eyebrows up.


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