BluRay Review: Hyde Park on Hudson
The DVD release of Hyde Park on Hudson was a movie I had dearly wanted to see at the theatre but had missed due to illness. Now I could sit back at home with a glass of Shiraz and enjoy this quirky little drama built around a weekend in 1939.
Although the historical anchor for the movie surrounds the King and Queen of England’s first ever visit of the monarchy to the USA the premise for the story is more centred around philandering of Franklin D Roosevelt. In the course of our story FDR works from a base of operations at ‘Hyde Park’ in north New York and because of the loneliness of office a distant cousin, ‘Daisy’ comes to stay. It is long before we see that the man who in mid-life was cut down by polio can still mesmerise the ladies. The history of FDR and his wife Eleanor indicates he may have been more of a player in a very interesting marriage.
The occasion of the King George or Bertie coming to America was treated by both sides of the Atlantic with disdain but it changed the way the Royals were viewed. Sadly with such accomplished actors as Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Cater and Helen Mirren taking the crown in recent screen releases the two royals played by Samuel West and Olivia Colman didn’t quite compare. That however left the stage free for Bill Murray as FDR and Laura Linney as Daisy.
Murray revels in his role playing up to every scene and with Laura Linney provding the ‘straight man’ to the act it works extremely well. The English pomp juxtaposed with the America casual flair is ripe for tension and the story has some hilarious moments. This wonderful movie just takes a weekend to let us see behind the curtain of one of the President’s of the United States. Enough time for a drive through the country side, a dive bomb in the pool and hot-dogs for royalty.
Rating: M Language and nudity.