Written July 30, 2014
'Hyde Park on Hudson' captures an interesting moment and shines a light on the lives of important figures in American history. I came to the movie with high expectations which were partially met. The movie is good - not great. Bill Murray is good - not great. Again, my expectations were perhaps unrealistic. Overall, the pacing of the movie is a tad slow. But the revelations about FDR's private life, his sexual liaisons, and his disability plus the tacit blindness or 'gentlemen's agreement' of those around him (not least of all the press) made for an intriguing story line that held my interest throughout.
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 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.