Adapted from Richard Nelson’s BBC radio play, Hyde Park on Hudson chronicles the close friendship and extramarital affair between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and his distant cousin, Daisy (Laura Linney). With Europe being quickly engulfed by war, the President welcomes the King and Queen of England (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) to his home in Hyde Park for a weekend visit to discuss possible US support of England in the fight. Daisy’s relationship with the President is put to the test as he struggles to balance his domestic affairs with his international obligations as Commander-in-Chief, not to mention the nagging constant presence of his jealous personal assistant Missy (Elizabeth Marvel), his troublemaker wife Eleanor (Olivia Williams) and his steel-spined mother (Elizabeth Wilson).
Murray may well get an Oscar nomination for his dead on depiction of Roosevelt — he manages to embody the President’s spirit rather than resorting to a full on impersonation. Both West and Coleman are also a blast to watch as the fish-out-of-water King George and Queen Elizabeth attempting to keep their good humour in the face of a house full of boorish Americans, including a far too casual for royalty Eleanor Roosevelt (“Can I call you Elizabeth?”).
Unfortunately, the rest of the film suffers from the odd choice to tell the story from Daisy’s point of view since she’s by far the most boring and inconsequential character in the film. In fact, she’s not even present for most of the more interesting events that transpire. The true life story of the Roosevelt/Daisy affair may be worth hearing more about–a written postscript to the whole storyline is by far the most intriguing thing about the whole thing–but it simply doesn’t belong in this film.
Is Hyde Park on Hudson Opening Weekend Worthy?
If you’re a huge Bill Murray fan (who isn’t, am I right?) then this is definitely worth a look. He’s incredible in this role and if he does get the Oscar nom, you’ll be ahead of the game by having already checked this out. This is also a pretty safe film if you’re looking to take any elderly relatives to the movies – they get the nostalgia, you get the peace of mind that nothing awkward will pop up on screen to make you squirm or be the cause uncomfortable conversation after the film. Priceless.
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Hyde Park on Hudson Trailer
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