Written October 10, 2015
Power is an aphrodisiac; since Early Dynastic Egypt, Mesopotamia, through the centuries, until the present, those with the might have the right to the delights of those whose lights shine at a diminished wattage, and those dim bulbs, like magnets, lust after the powerful, mighty, as sycophants to kings, presidents, dictators...
"Hyde Park on Hudson" is a quasi-documentary based on letters written to "Daisy Suckley" (demure performance by Laura Linney) revolving around her intimate relationship with her fifth cousin, "President Franklin Delano Roosevelt" (1882-1945), depicted honestly by Bill Murray; Roosevelt had a real affinity for his cousins, "Eleanor" (Olivia Williams) his wife, also fell into the "kissing cousin" category...
TWO & 1/2 STARS!!
***For full review please visit peneflix(dot)com!!!
Written January 04, 2013
While I was enjoying watching this film, as it is fun, clever, and well acted, the last five minutes spoil the whole film. While I understand that people cheat, and do a many other terrible things as well, I don't appreciate the tone of, "Well, it's okay because everyone involved agreed to it," that this movie so clearly took. Aside from my moral objection to the tone of cheaters, however, I liked the movie. Bill Murray was fantastic, as well the rest of the cast, and the cinematography beautifully captured New York's agrarian side. There are two scenes in particular that stand out, one for being glorious and one for being strange. First, strange: the movie makes a big point to talk about their being cousins, but they're fifth or sixth cousins. There's nothing wrong with that except that they actually know one another. So when they become intimate I feel like it's trying to make FDR into an even bigger creep. The glorious: FDR and King George VI alone time over drinks was masterful.
Written October 28, 2016
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 September 30, 2016
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 February 09, 2016
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.