Picks and Pans Review: Kissinger and Nixon
updated 12/11/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/11/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST
Set in 1972, this film dramatizes the byzantine relationship between our 37th President and his German-born National Security Adviser. When we first see Nixon (Beau Bridges), he is bellowing from his seat in the Oval Office, "Where is my Jew boy?" Despite such demeaning and hostile treatment, Kissinger (a paunched-up Ron Silver) plays his boss like a harp, stroking Nixon's ego and plucking at his deep fear of rejection.
Both actors turn in solid performances, Bridges fulminating away in Nixon's butchered syntax and Silver mumbling in Kissinger's dyspeptic, Teutonic accent. Though the depiction of the laborious peace negotiations with North Vietnam quickly becomes monotonous, the film, based on newly appointed TIME magazine editor Walter Isaacson's 1993 biography of Kissinger, presents a fascinating re-enactment of White House infighting: Kissinger on one side and H.R. "Bob" Haldeman (Ron White) and Charles Colson (Tony Rosato) on the other. The road to peace has never seemed more treacherous.