I'd like to see the film because I think it looks like a great titanic debate movie that could be really good, but I was worried that the typical prejudice against Nixon would turn his character into a disturbed, petty, evil man. This has made me reluctant to see the film.
So I was very pleased to see this post by everyone's favorite law blogger that answered many of my fears. My favorite excerpt of the linked post (please read the whole thing, quite interesting):
Again, I have to wonder if this was the intention: Without any preconceived notions, Nixon comes out nearly heroic. A tragic hero, for sure, but heroic nonetheless. The script refers numerous times to his achievements (his foreign policy coups with Kruschev and Mao), and even his fiercest opponents admit that he was quite accomplished. They just believe him to be criminal.This is something that has always intrigued me about Nixon - especially as a history and poli sci major at UW. His gifts as a diplomat and his foreign policy credentials were amazing and for the most part he was extremely successful in getting his domestic agenda passed. We know that he was vindictive and that he was paranoid about his enemies, but after 30+ years of parody and caricature, don't we owe it to ourselves to take a second look? Maybe time will give a clearer, more accurate portrait of a very complex man.
I saw a man with great ambition and ability who was beset by partisan hacks out to destroy him. They blame him for Vietnam, for the Khmer Rouge, for Watergate--though the point is never the crime, as the gotcha--and all Nixon wants is respect. There's a fictitious scene where a drunk Nixon calls Frost and goes on a rambling analysis of his own and Frost's sense of inferiority which I felt overplayed the dramatic hand, but even that didn't undermine my sense that this was a partisan witch hunt.