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Roger Davidson

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Oliver Stone is back into speculation in his latest film. This film biography of President Richard Nixon (Sir Anthony Hopkins), follows Nixon through some of his most trying years. Included is his famous 1960 debate with Kennedy, his election campaign of 1968 and the Watergate scandal that eventually led to Nixon resigning. Hopkins is fantastic as Nixon. Even though he doesn't look or sound like Nixon, he still does Nixon's gestures and speech patterns excellently, including that smile that Nixon seemed to turn on with the simple push of a button.

Many of the supporting cast is excellent too. James Woods as sleazy White House chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman and Paul Sorvino as famed presidential assistant Henry Kissinger, come off best of the supporting cast. Joan Allen, however, as Pat Nixon, is miscast. She didn't act, look or speak like the ex-first lady. At least Hopkins succeeded at some of those things. This is very interesting and entertaining, though the information in the film is not always factual. There are plenty of scenes where you can tell it's just speculation. For all we know, these could be complete bullshit. Stone also, like always, has a tendency to overblow his film subjects. Yet, despite these flaws, the film comes off well and at times, is very sympathetic towards Nixon.

People say Hopkins deserves an Oscar nomination for this film. In this, I have to agree. He was the greatest thing about the film. I can't say the film altogether is great, but it's good enough to get a few other nominations, like the wonderful cinematography, from Stone's frequent cameraman Robert Richardson. Stone possibly could get a nomination, but don't hold your breath.

My Rating = Three Stars

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