Written January 30, 2015
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 December 17, 2012
i never thought my opinion would be closer to rex reed's than a.o.scott's, but with excellent acting, humor throughout ,the look of history,and mostly good camerawork -- definitely good enough.
Written November 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 October 28, 2014
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 July 26, 2014
Although I am younger (by at least 30 years) than the majority of people who were in the theater , and probably have some personal memory of FDR, I was interested in seeing this movie having seen Lincoln and was so amazed by how much history I didn't know. The movie was slow and dragged from the onset. I felt the there was no discernible plot; was it the visit from the Royals, infidelity, FDR's physical disability and its effect on his presidency?
I was impressed by Bill Murray's ability to play a character other than comedic, however this movie is not one I'd recommend to others.