Written August 27, 2014
This movie is about FDR the man primarily -- his vices for alcohol and cigarrettes, but especially for extra-marital affairs. Hyde Park on Hudson is the geographical location of his mother's house, where he lived smothered while not in DC or travelling to fulfill his presidential duties. The movie takes places around the historical weekend when King George and Queen Elizabeth visited to court America into joining the war against Nazi Germany. They don't discuss much politics, but rather get to know each other and realize that they share much. This is a drama, for the most part, and depends heavily on dialogue. There are scenes where the movie drags with pointless conversation. However, the actors are first-rate and even the mundane discussions about cocktails and hot dogs provide ample entertainment. You should see this film if you're interested in the history of the period and want to see a terrific reenactment of what that weekend was like.
Written February 03, 2013
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 31, 2012
I was in college when Bill Murray and the originals of SNL were comedy icons that drove what we all did on Saturday night - we needed to be near a TV set when 11:30 pm hit. Murray has shown how talented he really is with all the roles he has played since then. Playing FDR, he gives you all the idiosyncrasies and mannerisms of a man that was both great and flawed, in such a way that you understand why people admired and followed him. The cast is equally able to lead you through what was a turning point in world history and make you feel like you are there, witnessing the first times that leaders tried to fortify alliances and maneuver the course of the future. The photography is as beautiful as upstate NY actually is... Loved Laura Linney - she so perfect as Daisy!
Written January 14, 2013
Recently visited Hyde Park, so I wanted to see how much was used in the film.....turned out to be mostly exterior scenes . Also curious about Bill Murray, but disappointed. He didn't pull off FDR for me, though his movements as a polio victim were done exceptionally well.
The story of that important weekend at Hyde Park, however, was fascinating and delightful.
Written December 26, 2012
Bill Murray is stellar as the FDR that is not revealed in old news reels. And Samuel West puts in an Oscar worthy supporting performance as the same king we met in The King's Speech. For those who only know Laura Linney from her Masterpiece/Downton Abbey hostess role, she shows her acting skills as the simple cousin who lifted FDR's spirits in a household dominated by his mother and wife.