The story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate Ne... Read allThe story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate New York.The story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate New York.
*** (out of 4)
With the King and Queen coming to America for the first time, FDR (Bill Murray) asks his fifth cousin (Laura Linney) to spend some time with him and soon the two become quite close in many ways. HYDE PARK ON HUDSON seems to be getting mostly mixed reviews and that's easy to see why. I think most people will agree that the performances are terrific but it seems like most people, myself included, are caught up with the story or lack of one if you will. What story that is here seems to be all over the place as the film never seems to fully know what it's about. Is it about the relationship between FDR and his cousin? Is it about all the dirty stuff FDR was doing? Is it just a slice-of-pie comedy? Is the main focus the upcoming war? Or is the main focus on whether or not the King will actually eat a hot dog? All of this stuff takes place here and as I said, none of it really gets the spotlight. The film remains very entertaining thanks in large part to the performances but one can't help but wonder what this film would have been like with a stronger, more focused story. With that said, Murray turns in another wonderful performance and I think the best thing that I can say is that when you watch the film you feel as if you're watching the real FDR. Not for a single second do you just see Murray and think of him as an actor doing a performance. Linney doesn't appear to be getting the credit she deserves but her quiet character contains some strong emotion thanks to the actress. Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Olivia Williams and Elizabeth Wilson are also extremely strong in their roles. Director Roger Michell perfectly nails the time as the look of the film is quite compelling and authentic. Another major plus is some great song selection scattered throughout the picture. HYDE PARK ON HUDSON isn't the grand slam many people were expecting but there's still enough here to make it worth viewing.
- Jan 15, 2013