Hyde Park on Hudson (2012) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: The story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley, centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate New York. Runtime: 94 mins Release Date: 03 Jan 2012
Two noticeable aspects on this site - the paucity of reviews of this period piece film and the number of negative comments that seem to blanket the responses to this very quiet little recreation of a moment in history about which few may be aware. In many ways this film, as written by Richard Nelson and directed by Roger Michell, resembles a little European art film: the recreation of conditions in the USA in the post Depression era are remarkably apt and set a fine tenor for the story including the musical score! . In the end this is a tale about how men in powerful places interrelate in <more>
moments of tension and how those same men have flaws both physical and in character that would weigh down ordinary fellows. But the story is about a particular summer in when Britain, on the brink of war with Hitler, visited America, hoping for Allied assistance in the war that was to become World War II.The setting is the home away form the White House - Hyde Park on the Hudson, the home of FDR's mother Elizabeth Wilson who still ruled the roost despite her son's political role. FDR is enchantingly portrayed by Bill Murray who is able to show all sides of FDR's personality - his response to being a victim of polio, his wisdom at running a country beaten down by the Depression, and his need for multiple liaisons with women. In one household we meet Missy Elizabeth Marvel who has been both secretary and lover of some time, Daisy Laura Linney who is FDR's fifth cousin who enters the coterie because of her honesty and genuine affection for FDR, and we hear about 'Mrs Rutherford', yet another of FDR's affairs, and of course there is the presence of Eleanor Roosevelt a superb Olivia Williams . Though the film seems to want to emphasize the development and course of FDR's affair with Daisy, the story gratefully focuses on the visit from The King and Queen of England - a first: Bertie Samuel West stutters his way into the favor of FDR while Elizabeth Olivia Colman tolerates her King- husband's lack of social graces and holds a lifted nose to the crude Americans. The highlight of the film is a glorious scene of a conversation between Bertie and FDR regarding their personal physical embarrassments and their joint world views. In the end there is a picnic where all comes to resolution.For this viewer the portrayal by Bill Murray was a revelation for this actor. His version of FDR is a fine blend of humor, vulnerability, pride overcoming his need to be carried everywhere because of his paralysis, and his genuine sense of kindness and caring for his people. If his flaw was promiscuity, given the times and the presence of the powerful and stand-alone wife, it is a minor one. Laura Linney's Daisy is somewhat of a frump, kind and sensitive but clumsy, and has little to do except voice-over narration. But the rest of the cast is superb. This is a film that deserves a much wider audience than it has received. Grady Harp
It's not what you think: it is soft, absorbing and very endearing! (by diane-34)
We saw this marvellous sleeper of a film yesterday and we both left the theatre feeling happy that we had seen such a positive film. It was a slice from FDR's extraordinary life and it focused, surprising for us, on aspects of his personal rather than political life. As the title suggests it took place totally at his vacation home in rural New York and centred on his relationship with various people attached to his office or his vacation home.There is a lovely section about mid-way through the film that involves the king and queen of England on a state visit and it brings out many <more>
fascinating observations about the disparity between the two countries. The pretension of the House of Windsor takes a bit of a thump but all turns out well in the end.As to the technicalities of putting the film together I admit to be completely taken by the acting of all the on-screen actors; I loved the photography, the set decoration, the lighting and the shot selection by the director. The totality of the film was absolutely brilliant! I knew that Hollywood had it in them to create a movie of this gentle kind but the silliness of the Disney studios seem to preclude movies of this calibre making a buck which is the only thing Hollywood cares about in our era of corporatism. See it at all costs!
Hyde Park on Hudson is no mixed bag, as some may have you think. Bill Murray turns in a perfectly mannered, whimsical performance as FDR and is very ably supported by an award-worthy cast that includes Laura Linney and Olivia Williams. It's funny, yes, but it's not a laugh riot, nor is it meant to be. It's a postcard look at a lost time, the first visit of an English monarch to a sitting U.S. president, dappled with a touch of uncertain, unlikely, and illicit romance.It's a few years before The Big One, WWII, but there's a storm a-brewing in Europe. Everyone knows it, but <more>
relations between the U.S. and England have been strained, something about revolting and then fighting in the War of 1812. Ancient history to some but not all, it would seem. At any rate, King George VI and Queen Consort Elizabeth Samuel West and Olivia Coleman, respectively travel to America to visit Roosevelt with the intention of securing his support for the upcoming war. But rather than host them in stuffy Washington, DC, FDR contrary to the real visit invites his royal guests to his home away from home, Springwood, a stately manor in upstate New York. It happens to be on the Hudson River, or near it, in case the title has tripped you up.Now, FDR was quite an unusual president. He was the last to serve more than two terms, as the Constitution was amended later. Also, he had polio, which he had contracted as a child. The funny thing is this - people went to great lengths to pretend nothing was wrong with Roosevelt's legs whatsoever. The Emperor had no clothes. Even the press were complicit, gamely waiting for the president to be lowered into the back of a convertible before taking their pictures and asking their questions. Can you imagine that today? The slightest limp by a leader seems to imply a lack of leadership in the minds of some.And so it was at the time, only not. The nation turned its eyes to Roosevelt as a resolute, optimistic leader, a man who could help them finally rid themselves of that awful Depression, and so they gladly ignore whatever shortcomings he may have. The king of England, meanwhile, is in a similar situation. He is the same George depicted in The King's Speech - you know, the one about the king who stuttered? FDR, who is much older, is not as self conscious about his malady as he used to be, whereas poor George is practically frozen by his own. Now, recall that the king and queen are visiting to gain the support of America; FDR already knows this. He could easily just issue a statement to the effect that the USA would help England in any way it could, but he chooses to host royalty instead. He wishes to meet the man beneath the crown, and he wishes to size him up. Enter into the fray a quite-distant cousin of FDR, a Daisy Stuckley Linney , who narrates the story. Daisy is introduced to the president, and somehow they find a connection. Daisy, like the arriving king, is also unsure of herself, a bit of an ugly duckling among the glamor of the president's residence. They find in each other a kindred spirit. Franklin is more or less estranged from his saintly wife Eleanor at this point they live in separate houses in New York! , and although he cannot walk, he does enjoy him some female company.But what is this story really about, anyway? It depends on your own perspective. Some will see this as a docudrama reflecting the meeting of two leaders and their wives ; some will see it as a comedy, an intelligent, subtle comedy with a barely smirking Bill Murray. Others still will find romance in almost every scene, no matter who the players, no matter where the setting.Murray deserves an Oscar nomination here, and perhaps the Academy will make up for their Lost in Translation snub. Linney does as well; her Daisy never undergoes a sudden transformation into a woman with a real backbone. She seems sad much of the time, working in the White House with tightened lips. Her life appears joyless; that is, until she has some alone time with Franklin, whence a window to a sunnier day slowly opens.Hyde Park on Hudson is a gorgeous movie with a splendid, bemused, and convincing performance by Bill Murray as our 32nd president and endearing, exhilarating role for Laura Linney. Each should be richly rewarded come award time.
If you like dreamy movies with atmosphere, this film is a sheer delight. The President emerges as a warm, immensely human persona, who urges his aids to spy on his somewhat controlling and volatile mother. The royal visit, though probably historically inaccurate, is displayed with tongue in cheek humor and excellent performances.Laura Linney is understated and poignant, with a hint of bittersweet.I was also surprised to find a Cherokee Dance at the royal picnic--who could ask for more in a movie?The British filming location adds a wistful and lovely atmosphere, intensifying the romantic and <more>
A Delightful Peek into a Little History (by bob-rutzel-1)
After her death Margaret "Daisy" Suckley's letters and notes were found under her bed and is the basis for this story. In the summer of 1939, President FDR Bill Murray is spending some time at his Hyde Park house on the Hudson River in New York. His mother asks Daisy Laura Linney , his 6th cousin, to spend some time with him so he can relax from the rigors of being President of the United States. On their first drive in the country an intimate relationship starts when FDR puts Daisy's hand on his leg. During this time King George VI Samuel West and Queen Elizabeth <more>
Olivia Coleman of England visit.As I have often said many, many times before the "comedians" of today do better as dramatic actors as they have the timing for drama, not for comedy. Witness Will Ferrell in STANGER THAN FICTION, Jack Black in BERNIE just to name a couple. Now this may apply or not to Bill Murray because I have seen him do funny things with good timing, but in here he was FDR. No doubt about it. Hey, he was good in LOST IN TRANSLATION too That first drive with FDR and Daisy was the only uncomfortable moment in the entire movie and nothing more like that occurred, but as you go along, you know they are intimate. In time Daisy learns she is not the only "mistress" in the house and lives with it. Now the meat of the story is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit. They are a taken back by the country living and American customs, but enjoyed all to everyone's satisfaction. There was the question if King George VI would eat a hot dog he had no idea what that was at the picnic planned in their honor. After a formal dinner FDR and King George VI take some time to themselves and discuss world events, the rise of Hitler and would the United States help England if Hitler invaded. If you saw the movie THE KING'S SPEECH you know that King George VI had a stutter that he was embarrassed about. He didn't' want to become King after his brother, King Edward, abdicated, but he did so. Samuel West gave what I consider one of the best performances of someone with an affliction that I have ever seen. No, it wasn't funny. You felt for him. Like Bill Murray becoming FDR, so did Samuel West become King George VI. You almost felt you were there as a part of history. And, really, you were. The scene with the two of them smoking, drinking and discussing everything was pure gold. And, yes, it could have happened exactly like that. Think about it. And, it is possible that a simple eating of a hot dog –with mustard- cemented the good friendship between two great nations. Think about it. 9/10 Violence: No. Sex: No, the hand on the leg was already mentioned above. Nudity: No. Language: No, some brief soft stuff.
Wonderful Performance By Bill Murray (by georgep53)
I don't get all the negativity directed at this film. I thought it was charming and witty. History is rarely so much fun.The story is simple enough. On the eve of World War II King George VI and his wife journey to the US to see President Roosevelt at his family's Hyde Park retreat hoping to secure American support against Nazi Germany. The FDR we see here isn't the Great Depression/war leader he's a weary man battling polio and trying to find solace in relationships with a distant cousin among others.Bill Murray gives an amazing performance humanizing the 32nd president an <more>
avid stamp collector who during this period when another European war appeared inevitable was more likely to find himself seeking peaceful coexistence between his dominating mother and estranged wife, Eleanor. Laura Linney is Margaret Suckley an unassuming, humble cousin who becomes a regular visitor to the retreat at the time of the royal visit. Samuel West and Olivia Colman are a convincing King and Queen making the first visit in history to the US by a British monarch. I found "Hyde Park On the Hudson" a delightful little film and the 95 minutes flew by leaving me wishing for more.
Through one affair, one perfect friendship is formed at the beautiful Hyde Park on Hudson (by napierslogs)
In 1939, King George VI Samuel West and Queen Elizabeth Olivia Colman made the trek across the ocean to visit American President Franklin D. Roosevelt Bill Murray at "Hyde Park on Hudson". It was the first trip of its kind and tensions were high. First Lady Eleanor and Mother Roosevelt expected perfection, and the Queen the eventual Queen Mother also expected perfection. Roosevelt was in no shape to deliver perfection.Mostly confined to a wheelchair and married to a woman he did not love, Roosevelt reportedly had affairs. The film focuses on one such affair that started just <more>
before the King and Queen of England were to arrive. Margaret "Daisy" Suckley Laura Linney is FDR's distant cousin and she is excited for this new turn in her life. She essentially moves into the Hyde Park residence, is convinced of Roosevelt's need for her, and won't accept a lesser role in his life. She's a tough pill to swallow and it's unfortunate that she's the main character of the film.The best characters of the film are easily Franklin Roosevelt and Bertie the King . Murray transforms Roosevelt into such a humanized version of the esteemed President that he's always relatable, always likable and always entertaining despite the pedestal that he's on and despite the pedestal that he probably shouldn't be on. West gives a pitch-perfect, award-deserving portrayal of the humble would-be King providing an understanding confidante for the President. Together they provide the film with an undeniable comedic chemistry and also an honest dynamic that gives it a much needed stability as it tries to find its way as a comedic, dramatic biopic.The other women in the film, notably: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt Olivia Williams , Mrs. Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth, were portrayed with a likely honest, indifferent, and distant air. That approach allows the film to make no judgements about these three strong, independent and forceful women who have all forged their way into history. We only see them through their equally strong husbands and son and we can form our own opinions.True to its name, "Hyde Park on Hudson" has beautiful cinematography. While it's shot in England rather than New York, it is a suitable substitution, recognizing the source of the inspiration for the name, the architecture and the landscaping of the Presidential family estate in upstate New York.
Bill Murray is a Delight and a Damn Fine Actor (by ezr2061)
There's a dreamlike haze that surrounds and infuses nearly every scene of this curiously entertaining film. The gauzy light that filters though speckled windows and reflects off polished fixtures softly reveals a placid world of gentle familial discord. We are casually introduced to a married couple who are living their lives on unusual terms, by special laws of their own devising. Franklin is a randy scamp, a bon vivant barely hampered by his uncooperative lower limbs, courting a modest bevy of willing paramours, while Eleanor is a self assured modern women pursuing her own personal <more>
interests. They seem to have settled upon an arrangement, perhaps as much out of mutual love and respect as out of practicality. There is a Depression out there, millions are suffering for sure, but here upon these sylvan landscapes and within these manicured chambers unfolds a tale as absurd and as charming as a nursery rhyme, and yet it is real.Well, as real as can be expected of a film that seeks to dance with our hearts and minds, to sweep us up in its gentle but irrepressible rhythms, to twirl and pirouette us just enough to get us giddy. Or even a little dizzy, because that's what I imagine it must have felt like to be on the verge of another world war, witnessing our European allies being thrashed and slaughtered mercilessly by some new bizarre evil force - dizzying. England had been witnessing at very close hand Germany's assault upon the continent. Some might say the Brits were perfectly dignified in their solemn comportment, but things were getting dire as the Nazi rhetoric intensified along with the escalating violence. This is the grim backdrop to events that transpired that weekend in a woodland paradise in New York state in the summer of '39 when His and Her Majesties had dispatched themselves to our coarse, uncouth shores on an unprecedented mission of desperation. It was an act of humiliation, or so the Queen believed, in spite of her stammering husband's reassurances. Their plaintive cries would not be fully answered for another two and a half years, but that is not the point of this near farcical cinematic trifle. It's concerned with more modest, more intimate matters. The film rightfully takes it for granted that its audience is sufficiently familiar with pre war American ideals and morality and is aware of the imminent cataclysmic events that are to reshape the entire world so there's just no need to meticulously restate the obvious or bludgeon us with factuality. If the film plays it fast and loose with certain elements, well that's an issue for the tedious truth patrol to take up. But for me, I heartily embrace the creative liberties they took in fashioning this quaint and compelling curiosity. I was surprised by how impressed I was with Bill Murray's straightforward but nuanced portrayal. Never emphatic nor ever glib, his approach is supremely assured and relaxed, and continually surprising, but it's a performance that's easy to misread if you're not paying attention. Apparently many viewers simply failed to notice the many, many terrific small flourishes and touches that amount in their entirety to a wholly formed, genuine character. I suppose Bill's performance is too small of a miracle to get most people excited, considering just how few other critics and reviewers have mentioned the degree to which he mastered the East Coast Elite accent and demeanor and posture, all of which are too often done so atrociously bad in films that a terrible rendition has now become the accepted standard. If you're attentive you'll pick up on the subtle but distinctive shifts in the tone and timbre of his voice, translating the infinite depth of his pain and sorrow and fear into a sort of coded song. Bill's instinctual playfulness serves him well in crafting a persona that's both fun to watch and worthwhile to contemplate, resonating on multiple levels as a sincere and legitimate, if imperfect human. That's a theatrical accomplishment that's too often dismissed, too seldom celebrated.