If there’s one thing you can say about Ron Howard, it’s that he’s versatile.
One minute he was adapting the zeitgeist-capturing conspiracy thriller that swept the world in 2006’s The Da Vinci Code, and the next he was chronicling the historic series of interviews the then-fledgling talk show journalist David Frost (Michael Sheen) conducted with ex US President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) in 2008’s Frost/Nixon.
Though you’d hardly imagine the couple of hours in question were the subject of high drama, it was actually a quite riveting episode in history and a very well made movie.
Frost is out to prove himself as a hard hitting reporter and the aim was to talk Nixon into a corner and get him to open up about the Watergate crimes that bought him down, but Tricky Dick is too practised, dominating the conversations until Frost has to finally turn the tables to wrestle his quarry to the ground.
Anyway, while Frost (along with the rest of the world) watched Nixon depart the White House for the last time and became determined to make the interviews happen, he was recording a talk show in Australia.
Early in the film Howard stages a sequence of Frost doing vox pops on the streets of Sydney, specifically in front of the forecourt of the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay, looking across the water to Bennelong Point, site of the Sydney Opera House.
Right beside it, there along the northernmost reaches of Elizabeth Street are the Bennelong Apartments, the source of some controversy when they were built and somewhat disparagingly called the Toasters from then on, owing to their ungainly resemblance to the eponymous kitchen appliance.
But to anyone who grew up (like I did), lives in or knows Sydney, that’s a a clanger of a historical error. Nixon resigned his presidency in 1974, 24 years before the Toasters were built.