For all his talent, Anthony Hopkins’s—and Oliver Stone’s—Richard Nixon in 1996’s Nixon is simply weird, naught but a man with his demons. The film itself has its stylistic demons to boot, what with all its flashiness and now-color, now-monochrome silliness. Yes, there are a few strong scenes and some bright dialogue, but . . . well, to have Nixon discuss policy and procedures while his cabinet men frequently look as though they’re baffled and suspicious is deeply stupid. I didn’t buy it for a second.
Of course this is not the Nixon of history, but who is he, really? Only another unscrupulous but unfortunate, semi-tragic figure. And he is used for a movie with basically inconsequential meaning.