Written October 10, 2015
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 November 26, 2015
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 13, 2015
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.
Written October 10, 2015
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 March 29, 2015
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.