Nixon - Collector's Edition
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Stone portrays Nixon as a tragic figure who had the intelligence and the electoral mandate to elevate himself and his administration to greatness, but let it all slip away by becoming bogged down in the quagmire of Watergate. Nixon complains incessantly about how the Kennedys are everything he is not. However, it becomes clear that his hatred of the Kennedys is based as much on his loathing of himself as on any real scorn shown him by the "Eastern establishment."
Stone, as in JFK, takes certain liberties with Nixon's story and acknowledges as much in a disclaimer before the story begins. Even those who believe President Kennedy was assassinated as the result of a conspiracy, for example, would find it hard to believe that Richard Nixon was involved, even tacitly, in the plot to kill JFK. Stone also takes liberties with his portrayal of Richard and Pat Nixon's marital relationship. Even though some incidents are no doubt true, it's pretty clear that some scenes between the two are conjecture on Stone's part.
However, these are minor quibbles.Read more ›
The truth is that NIXON is much more even-handed in its portrayal of the 37th President of the United States than I thought it could be. Anthony Hopkins gives a reasonably fair portrayal of Nixon, and Joan Allen is tremendous as his wife Pat. Although Stone's penchant for conspiracy does get the better of him at times, he sees Nixon as more a tragic victim than as an evil power-monger, a vision that is closer to the truth than what Nixon's enemies made him out to be in reality.
Stone wisely does not gloss over the simple facts about the man. Nixon was indisputably a great and cagey anticommunist politician who managed to split the Sino-Soviet communist alliance in two and thus promote stability in the Cold War world for years to come. But he left a lot to be desired as a human being, being paranoid, distrustful, deceitful, and, in the end, blatantly dishonest. In that sense, the saga of Richard Nixon ranks as the American equivalent of a Greek tragedy: so much explosive potential destroyed by scandal.
As in JFK, Stone has assembled a massive cast of people: Ed Harris, Bob Hoskins, J.T. Walsh, and James Woods, just to name a few. Despite its few faults, NIXON is a fair portrait of perhaps the most frustrating and complicated man ever to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I am a big Nixon fan, if only for his strangeness, for his political eccentricity in a political system where only the bland, the smiling, the sound-biteable, the contempibly predictable is rewarded. Nixon, to me, has always seemed like an anachronistic creation of pure will, a force of random Brownian motion, a misunderstood Machiavellian demon, hopelessly paranoid, unmistakably brilliant, brutally deformed, unequivocally human, a misshapen creature.
Stone turns that on its head, and suggests that at worst Nixon may just have been naive. Driven, yes. Ambitious, yes. Duplicitous, only when it suited him. But naive. And that, truly, is the fascination with this lavish little probe into the mind and madness that was Richard Nixon, and the insanity that was the America he helmed. Oliver Stone's "Nixon" is flawed, oddly talky, features an impossibly gorgeous Joan Allen as the impossibly dowdy Pat Nixon. But with all that against it, it is compulsive. It is fascinating. It kept me up all night, for all 212 of its minutes (get the Director's cut). Can more be said?
Perhaps. Stone, who helmed "Natural Born Killers" and "Wall Street" and "JFK", is incapable of making a bad moviek, and "Nixon" is no exception.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The extra 28 minutes add a subplot where Nixon goes to meet the head of the CIA, and implications are made that they were involved in JFK's assassination. Read morePublished 1 month ago by T_Dog2
Needed to watch it for class. made it super easy to get and to watch. thank you!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A masterpiece. The fact that it was made by ultra-left wing Oliver Stone makes it all that more remarkable. I literally could not take my eyes off Anthony Hopkins' performance. Read morePublished 3 months ago by tomseid