HYDE PARK ON HUDSON: A Review

HYDE PARK ON HUDSON: A Review by Salty

I love Bill Murray, everyone loves Bill Murray, he is sooooo cool and will always be so cool and this movie started out cool and regardless of the level of coolness Murray exuded spiralled into a farce that lost its plot.

Hyde Park on Hudson starring Bill Murray
Hyde Park on Hudson starring Bill Murray

In 1930s Hudson Valley, Margaret “Daisy” Suckley is reacquainted with her distant cousin, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to help him relax at his family estate. That aid soon develops into much more as they become lovers. That puts Daisy in a unique position as Roosevelt receives the King and Queen of Britain in 1939 for a visit. As the Royal couple copes with the President’s oddly plebeian arrangements, Daisy learns that there is far more to Roosevelt’s life than she realized. With the world about to be set ablaze by war, friendships are struck and perspectives are gained on that special weekend that would make all the difference with a great, but very human, president.


Roger Michell, Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Colman



I really had limited knowledge of the time prior to watching the film and loved the start of the film. Margaret was there to help FDR forget the troubles of the world and it was blossoming into a romantic lovely film with exceptional cinematography that was very grande and accompanied by a melodic score and it had a strong Gatsby feel – I was loving the first act.

Roger Michell, Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Colman

Then I also got excited at the second act as the King and Queen arrived and it became a nice comedy of cultural collision – it was hysterical. Olivia Colman was a perfect Elizabeth and those stunned mullet of surprise facials had me endlessly chuckling – this is where the film should have stayed – as an analysis of the cultural meetings of these two nations that was so important to the war and history of these nations. Even the wallpaper was a superb character in this and how well done that a hotdog could be the one thing that bonded two nations – I LOVED THIS!!! It highlighted that these Royals and people of the highest levels of society are just normal people in different surroundings, it completely humanised the characters and this was the highlight of the film for me – it was like a Four Weddings and a Funeral comedy starring the President and the Royals – brilliant.

 

Roger Michell, Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Colman

The bonding of FDR (Murray) and The King – Bertie (Samuel West) was also pivotal – for these two leaders to hang out and drink and joke and drop the pompous charades and characters they must always play in public was a turning point in world history – it was so important and a joy to see it acted out – this film could have been a great stage play. But it then falters dramatically………

Roger Michell, Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Colman

It falls into a soap opera concentrating more on FDRs adultery where we then discover he is basically keeping a harem of women everywhere and straight away I stopped liking him, I also thought Margaret (Linney) was an idiot and the film (or the rumoured facts) promoted adultery. Firstly, why the film would direct all its attention to this I am astounded. Please explain how adultery in the Presidency is new or a necessary thing to concentrate the film on? Who cares? The joining and friendships of two world powers I thought would be a little more interesting. It showed that FDR may have been a good President but he was a shit man. I also loathed all the smoking in the film – recently given these up and to have the film glamourising was a real disappointment and had me craving and angry.

Roger Michell, Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Colman

All the acting is great, Linney was born for period film, Murray is an unstoppable force and the Royals were superb. But Richard Nelson’s soap opera screenplay and Roger Michell’s direction of said screenplay destroy what could have been a superb film. Hyde Park on Hudson is out now and worth 6 out of 10 Bill Murray’s.