Hyde Park on Hudson 2½/4 – a movie review by James Berardinelli

March 28, 2013 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Hyde Park on Hudson represents the odd marriage of an uninteresting, borderline-creepy “romance” and a peek behind the scenes of a notable but unsung historical event. 2012 has seen dramatizations of eras from the administrations of two of America’s greatest leaders.

However, while Lincoln more than did justice to the sixteenth president, Hyde Park on Hudson is a less-than-successful representation of the thirty-second. Instead of focusing on FDR as a president, this movie gives up half its length to tawdry soap opera.

Bill Murray is an interesting choice to play the only man to live in the White House for more than two full terms. Physically, the resemblance is no better than passing. Murray doesn’t attempt an imitation either in mannerisms or voice. The performance is solid but it’s difficult to “see” FDR in Murray’s portrayal. This might not be as obvious an issue if the amazing work of Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln wasn’t so fresh in the memory. Murray has some nice scenes – most when paired with either Samuel West, who plays King George VI, or Olivia Williams, who plays Eleanor. Murray’s scenes with Laura Linney’s Daisy are stillborn. Daisy isn’t interesting and the relationship isn’t worthy of a cinematic accounting, even semi-fictionalized as it is.

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