By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Four Beers) –
Margaret Suckley (Laura Linney) was a constant companion of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray) during the time of his presidency. Whenever FDR needed someone to confide in or merely someone to unwind around, he would call on her. Hyde Park on Hudson tells the story of their early relationship, which coincided with the King of England’s first ever visit to the United States. Margaret and FDR’s relationship eventually turned sexual, which is more than one can say for FDR’s marriage to Eleanor, which was stale at best. (And all the more interesting since Margaret and FDR were cousins)
Bill Murray is just fantastic in everything he does, and his FDR is no exception. He brings warmness to the character, and at the same time a strange deviancy that is often left out of the history books. Actor Samuel West plays King George VI, a king who has gotten a lot of screen-time in the last year, (The King’s Speech, W.E.) and he is very fun to watch, playing a sort of straight-man to a series of farcical scenes which keep the film from plunging too deeply into melodrama.
Speaking of melodrama, if it weren’t for the subplot of the King’s visit to America, the film would be equitable to a television movie for “Lifetime”.
“with low standards”
Every predictable plot twist, the bargain-basement film score, dialog owing more to Days of our Lives than David Mamet, everything related to Laura Linney’s character feels like this. Rarely do films come along with such a genuinely interesting subplot, and such a misbegotten main story.
This film inspires some big questions, such as: Does Laura Linney take anti-depressants? And if so, when the producers brought her in to record the voiceovers, did she take a few extra doses? I assume that the woozy, dreamlike speaking style is supposed to sound like a woman writing wistfully about her life. Somehow, I can only see a crazy spinster on cough syrup.
Side effects may include nostalgia trips, ability to taste colors.
When the best film about FDR from 2012 includes Werewolf Nazi’s… You know there’s a problem.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As3sBKFRpdU?feature=player_detailpage]
Dull as watching paint dry, unless Bill Murray’s in the room.
Take a Drink: when anyone onscreen drinks.
Take a Drink: for annoyingly floaty narration.
Do a Shot: when you realize that FDR is getting a handjob. (Answering a question you’ve always secretly wanted to know about Polio)