Hyde Park on Hudson

hyde park on hudson bill murray
Nicola Dove

The great Bill Murray looks ready to take on the challenge of playing the polio-stricken Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson. He's got the look, the charm, the gravitas and the mischief. But his buoyant performance can't lift the leaden script by playwright Richard Nelson and the mis-direction of Roger Michell (Notting Hill). The movie, set in Hyde Park, New York, at Springwood (the Roosevelt family’s country estate),  generates all the excitement of a stifled yawn as FDR awaits a royal visit from stuttering King George VI (Samuel West) and Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman). It's 1939, and the Brits want America to join them as allies in World War II.  Matters of import, however, take a backseat to FDR's dalliances with a number of women, especially Daisy Suckley (Laura Linney), his sixth cousin. In an early scene, Franklin takes Daisy for a drive in a specially built car and she gives him a hand job. Really? Really. Olivia Williams livens things up as Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife who turns a blind eye to the Prez's indiscretions. But the actors  can’t perform miracles. Hot dogs are served in the final scene, but trust me, Hyde Park on Hudson is no picnic.

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