October 15, 2008 / 2:51 PM / 10 years ago

London Film Festival opens, boasts Bond premiere

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The London Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday with the world premiere of “Frost/Nixon,” a movie based on a play about the dramatic series of television interviews with Richard Nixon in 1977.

Dozens of feature films will be screened in the capital between October 15 and 30, including the world premiere of the latest James Bond installment “Quantum of Solace,” expected to be one of this year’s biggest box office hits.

Politics take a prominent place, starting with “Frost/Nixon” and moving on to Oliver Stone’s George W. Bush biopic “W,” Israeli director Ari Folman’s animation war movie “Waltz With Bashir” and British director Steve McQueen’s IRA-themed “Hunger.”

While most of the films in this year’s line up have been screened before at international film festivals or had limited theatrical releases, the festival expects to attract some of the biggest names in movie making to the red carpet.

In “Frost/Nixon,” Oscar-winning film maker Ron Howard directs Michael Sheen as journalist David Frost and Frank Langella as the disgraced former president. Both actors reprise their roles from the acclaimed stage version.

The movie recreates the 1977 interviews which came three years after Nixon’s resignation following the Watergate scandal.

According to news reports more than 45 million Americans tuned in to watch the exchange, during which Nixon admitted that he had let his people down.

The play casts the main protagonists as adversaries, but also argues that they had much in common — Frost was seeking to revive a flagging career while Nixon was looking to salvage some kind of legacy after his dramatic fall from grace.

The biggest event of the festival is likely to be the Bond premiere on October 29, bringing British actor Daniel Craig to London’s Leicester Square for his second outing as 007.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

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