Last night the Golden Globe Awards were handed out, with the sleeper Slumdog Millionaire sweeping every category in which it was nominated. Ron Howard’s acclaimed Frost/Nixon was completely shut out. Not even Frank Langella got the award for Best Actor – that went to Mickey Rourke for his protean performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler.
As of Sunday, Frost/Nixon, playing in about 270 theaters to date, has grossed a little over seven and a half million dollars domestically (and was budgeted at $25 million) making it Howard’s lowest-grossing film, so far, since EDtv nearly a decade ago.

On Jan. 22, the Academy Award nominations will be announced, and the following day the film opens in over a thousand theaters. In order to perform well in these venues, Frost/Nixon’s Oscar nominations will have to be more extensive than the categories of picture, director, actor, screenplay and music for which it was recognized at the Golden Globes.

My guess is that besides these categories there will be nominations for Kevin Bacon for best supporting actor (for his performance as Col. Jack Brennan), and also for best editing and, perhaps, makeup. That would make the total a respectable seven or eight.

In the meantime, if you haven’t seen the film it’s very much worth the ticket. I saw it for the second time just after Christmas. Even more so than on the first viewing, I found Michael Sheen’s performance as David Frost to be remarkably nuanced and carefully developed beyond what the script provided for. In some ways Sheen’s achievement matches Langella’s; the latter has the advantage of being the centerpiece of the film and getting, as such, nearly all the best and meatiest lines.

Another thing interested me as well upon watching Frost/Nixon again: in the scene where the President, at home in San Clemente, watches Frost on television attending the premiere of The Slipper And The Rose, I was struck by the momentary resemblance of Langella to the older Gore Vidal.

(The eminent essayist/novelist, over six decades, has often written, usually rather acerbically, about RN, including the play An Evening With Richard Nixon, and, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, expressed a kind of grudging admiration for him. But in recent years Vidal’s published comments about RN have become steadily more embittered – he seems to blame the 37th President for bringing his particular betes noires, outgoing Vice President Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, into government service – and I’d inclined to think that he’d be rather dismayed by the resemblance in this scene.)