nixonfrost.jpgfrostNix.jpg“Frost/Nixon,” Ron Howard’s paean to politics, was screened for international journalists last night in L.A. and all those foreign journos were bowled over by Frank Langella‘s unexpected spectacular turn as Tricky Dick.

Based on a play about the Frost/Nixon interviews in the late ’70s, the film actually finds a dramatic theme to a series of four one-on-one interviews for a playboy British talk show host and the disgraced former President.

The play was written by Peter Morgan, but director Howard is the one who should be lauded. Howard, whose films are usually dramatic but successful fluff, has tapped into a gold mine of political and historical proportions. Michael Sheen, who played Frost in the West End version, returns on film.

Said one screening-goer, “I didn’t think he had it in him.”

We think he meant Howard, not Langella.

Either way, the film was so good, it made you want to go on YouTube and find the originals, which are all listed. But a company called Liberation Entertainment has taken them off the free market. Alas, as always, it comes down to the dollar.