Hyde Park on Hudson

Hyde Park on Hudson

(2012)

One weekend would unite two great nations... After cocktails, of course.

Bill Murray is US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in this comedy-drama, entertaining King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on the eve of WWII at his home in upstate New York. From the director of Notting Hill.... More

Told through the eyes of his mistress and distant cousin Margaret Stuckley (Laura Linney), Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor (Olivia Williams) host the royal couple (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) for a weekend at the Roosevelt home at Hyde Park on Hudson - the first visit of a reigning British monarch to America. With Britain facing imminent war with Germany, the royals are desperately looking to FDR for support. But international affairs must be juggled with the complexities of the President’s domestic establishment, as wife, mother, and mistresses all conspire to make the royal weekend an unforgettable one.Hide

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Flicks Review

Who would have thought that a film about a president’s scandalous affair would have you begging for less of the mistress, more of the politician’s wife and even more about the politics? Actually, scratch the scandalous part. The intimate letters between FDR and his distant relative Margaret ‘Daisy’ Stuckley were discovered decades after this 1939 rendezvous took place and all throughout their relationship the President was getting it on with various other women with hardly a murmur from the press or the public. Clinton must have been livid.... More

Laura Linney makes a decent fist of dear Daisy but the role is so beige that she’s a boring narrator to lead us into Roosevelt’s dimly lit country estate, all aflutter at the king and queen’s visit. Her perspective sets the whole film at arm’s length, the camera timidly following our hero (Bill Murray having fun as a lovable rogue as per) as if under Daisy’s hesitant gaze. And Daisy is so eclipsed by the fabulous Olivia Williams as witty, lively Eleanor Roosevelt sticking it to the dippy Brits that it’s hard to see why FDR would bother with her as a mistress at all.

Far more interesting than nicking off into the meadows with Daisy is the blossoming relationship between two heads of state, one crippled by his stutter (already thoroughly documented in The Kings Speech) and one paralysed by polio. “We think they see all our flaws,” says Roosevelt to King George. “That’s not what they’re looking to find when they look to us.”

The see-sawing between politics and the affair leaves the film floundering somewhere in between, so that despite very watchable performances from the great cast it neither fires emotionally nor has the authority of a historical drama.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 2 ratings, 2 reviews
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BY vivace nobody

A film I could have definitely missed.


BY Brian1 superstar

as someone else said, this story would make Clinton envious.


The Press Reviews

  • This isn't a serious historical film. It plays different instruments than Spielberg's "Lincoln." Murray, who has a wider range than we sometimes realize, finds the human core of this FDR and presents it tenderly. Full Review

  • Disappointing given the talent and situation, dull as ditchwater and historically suspect, another "The King's Speech" it definitely is not. Nice costumes, though. Full Review

  • The movie insists on an unearned sentimentality and nostalgia about a situation and a period that is never fully evoked or explored. Full Review

  • In beauty, tone, technical achievement and cinematic artistry on every level, Hyde Park on Hudson is a movie unto itself - funny, believable, historic and hugely entertaining. Full Review

  • Hyde Park could have been fawningly ponderous; that it's merely an airy trifle puts it a cut above the usual Oscar bait. Full Review

  • More a "King's Speech" footnote than a sequel, Park only flies when Bill's centre stage. We're curious to see how it fares against "Lincoln," the award season's other presidential hopeful. Full Review

  • Bill Murray as FDR? It takes a few minutes to get used to, but once he settles into the role of the 32nd president, the idiosyncratic comic actor does a wonderfully jaunty job of it. Full Review

  • Though he has competition, especially from the folks playing the visiting royals, Murray is very much the reason to see "Hyde Park." Full Review

  • Roosevelt was one of the towering figures of the 20th century, but he and his accomplishments scarcely register in this amorphous, bafflingly aimless movie. Full Review

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