Nixon ★★★★

Umpteenth viewing, first in more than ten years although there was a time in high school when I would watch this almost weekly. I'm not quite sure what attracted me to that extent back then but I still find there is plenty to admire here, especially the brilliant edit scheme Stone and his editors work out here: pulling out shots to accentuate the psychological motivation towards what is being said or, in the case of the brilliant showdown with Sam Waterson that's exclusive to the director's cut, build images in contrast to the meaning of the scene to create a new meaning in a way that is Eisensteinian. Viewing it now, it is clear to me that Stone is too much a slave to the typical bio-pic downfall: forced to hit all the major historical landmarks even if it flies in the face of the particulars of the character portrait he is trying to build. The overall impact is still quite impressive but it seems like more work now than it did to me back when I was a teenager, which certainly flies in the face of conventional wisdom.