Review: Hyde Park on Hudson
Not unlike Lincoln, and Hitchcock, this biopic of sorts follows along a singular man during a short though (arguably) notable point of his life. In this case, the man is President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and that time is the summer, at his residence in upstate New York, where he welcomes the King and Queen of England, as well as some romantic affairs.
Who’s in it?
Bill Murray is FDR believe it or not, and is actually surprisingly believable, however not particularly fascinating. Laura Linney plays his new friend and companion, as they two share many a romantic getaway.
This light-hearted, easy, and mostly mindless escapade is nice, and other things non-confrontational. President Roosevelt is in his later years, and as World War II looms, he invites the young and awkward English royal couple for a stay. Though, not unlike say every male figure seen on the screen, FDR enjoys the company of more than one woman. So a romance that is more or less arranged develops amid a lavish to do in the gorgeous hills of summer New York.
Based on love letters and found footage (shown during the credits, recreated wonderfully), the film is more a showcase for Murray and Linney, a chance to make fun of the British (the charming and talented Colin Firth does not reprise his role from The King’s Speech), and an opportunity to make sense of all this fooling around men do.
Sadly, the British couple is far more interesting, and it’s their conversations that are more humourous, insightful, and convincing. Murray is FDR, and that’s startling for a moment, but when his biggest problem is handling all the women in his life, including his mother and his staff, it’s nothing too troublesome.
Should You See It?
Only if you’re stuck with your family during the holidays, and hobbits, musicals, and Tarantino are too divisive for the crew. This is a nice slice of easy American pie.
“It was a time when the world kept secrets…” says our heroine. Maybe it was then, yes, but we found your love letters and now they’re all over the internet.