The true story of the love affair between President
Franklin D. Roosevelt and his distant cousin Daisy Suckley.
Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)
Directed by Roger Michell
Written by Richard Nelson
Starring Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Marvel, Olivia Williams, Elizabeth Wilson,
Martin McDougall, Andrew Havill
Hyde Park on Hudson was one of the worst biopics I have ever seen, with Bill Murray delivering a truly poor performance as one of our nation's greatest leaders. If you're going to make a movie about the love affair between the president and his sixth cousin, make sure that the lead actors have a shred of chemistry. The film is incredibly dull and fails to shine the spotlight on the most interesting part of the film, which is the meeting between Roosevelt and King George VI. This was a meeting that began to form a meaningful union between the United States and Great Britain, and it's downgraded to one scene in the entire movie. FDR is one of America's most interesting figures and by the time the film was over, I knew nothing new about the man's character.
The performances are meaningless, apart from Samuel West and Olivia Colman, who portrayed the King and Queen of England. They were a joy to watch, even though I was comparing them to Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter the entire time. I was disappointed by Bill Murray, as I know he has a surprisingly serious range. He was totally miscast as FDR and failed to capture anything about the man. The entire film ignored the most intriguing parts of Roosevelt's character, instead opting to shine the light on his many mistresses. While I agree that this is a part of his life that should be examined, I don't think it's his most important.
Hyde Park on Hudson has about as much cultural impact as a mid-90's Lifetime TV movie about President Roosevelt. The film decides to spend its run-time focusing on his mistress Daisy, who is never given any explanation over why she loved him or why he chose her. Maybe one day, they'll make a decent biopic on this man's life and these questions will be answered. Until then, this is the best we've got.