Written September 03, 2014
Bridge players know a peek is as good as a finesse and this small glimpse into the life of FDR provides the viewer with more information about American history, even that of England, than many a history book and by far exceeds films trying to encompass a life time. The film acts like a core sample of the Earth's surface, digging deeply beneath the soil of these famous people and breaks through at their very source. Without excessive drama, the film quietly invites the viewer to catch a brief glance of what's real behind the facades of the great, famous man so pivotal in the world when humanity showed up at its worst and a few showed up to lead them to their finest hour.
As for Bill Murray, was he born to play the part? Even knowing the man personally did not prevent experiencing him as FDR on the screen. He so erased his outer personality as all good actors do and Laura Linney did as well, there was nothing left of this very funny man to mar the perfection of his creation.
Written January 24, 2013
Maybe my viewing was colored by having just visited FDR's house in Hyde Park the weekend before, but this is a really muddled film. It's not bad, just confused. It doesn't seem to know what it is. Maybe Richard Nelson should have written it as a play (seems like maybe he originally did) but it's fine in some places, laughable in others, and dull in many. Bill Murray and Laura Linney, as always, are great, but what they have to work with is so thin and surface-level, it's kind of hard to watch sometimes.
Skip the movie - visit the real Hyde Park instead. Now THAT is honestly fantastic.
Written October 26, 2014
Don't go to see this movie if you are looking for the Roosevelt in the White House, or the "fear" speech, or WWII drama. This movie is a simple love story between the President and a girl who thought she was his only mistress. However, the best scenes are the interaction between FDR and King George of England. The scenery is great and the period music is terrific and it brings back nostalgia from a time gone by but it is also one of those movies that you can wait to see when it comes on cable TV.
Written December 20, 2014
I was somewhat disappointed in the shallowness of this movie. Perhaps it is because the movie I saw last week was Les Miserables - best movie I believe I have ever seen in my life; so contrast effect was huge. If you just want to go to a movie and not have to think too much and not cry -- this may be decent relief from a stressful week. However, I'm afraid I can't recommend it as a "good movie". FDR's character was SO much more complex and interesting . . . My feeling is that by focusing on his womanizing side only -- way too much was left unaddressed . . and it would be so much more true and interesting if that part were shown in the context of who ALL he was.
My rating of so-so is generous. I guess the way I really feel about it is No - not really.
Written September 20, 2014
The acting in Hyde Park was great from everyone but from Mr. West who played the king it was wonderful.The story was believable but was a litttle sad. The only thing lacking was more character development but nothings perfect. Overall we were glad we went to see it.