Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Movie Review: Hyde Park on Hudson

A client recently gifted me two advance screening tickets to the movie Hyde Park on Hudson at the Landmark Theater (E Street Cinema) in DC. It is not a movie I would choose, but I decided to brave the cold even after my friend cancelled because of the flu. I'm glad I went; it was a witty movie. Hyde Park on Hudson is out at the theaters on Friday, December 7th. 

Hyde Park on Hudson explores the private life of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and frames it through the first ever visit of a reigning British monarch to the United State. When you put the President of the United State, the First Lady, the King and Queen of England, the president's mother and his mistresses in one room, you are definitely walking on the edge of disaster. It is a delightful personal exploration of the inner lives and struggles of the powerful, and It reveals the insecurities of celebrated world leaders and shows them flawed like the rest of us.

The historical tale accurately combines wit and charm. The story is told from the point of view of Daisy, a simple woman played by Laura Linney. She is a distant cousin to FDR, played by Bill Murray, and eventually his mistress. We are shown a different side of the great leader as seen through her eyes. The movie opens up with her being called up to Hyde Park by FDR's mother to see her cousin who just happens to be the President. After showing her his stamps, they become regular friends and she began spending time with the president. The relationship goes down a different path when the President drives Daisy into a beautiful field of flowers, and she gives him a hand job. It is June 1939, and FDR is to host the King and Queen of England (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) for a weekend at the Roosevelt mansion in Hyde Park on Hudson. The visit is of international significant. Britain faces an inevitable war with Germany, and the monarchy needs to get the USA support through FDR. 

This weekend of international significance was set into the complexities of family, love and drama. FDR, his brazen wife Eleanor (Olivia Williams), his overbearing mother Sara Anna (Elizabeth Wilson) and his intimate Daisy made the weekend one the king, queen and viewers would never forget.

Murrey's delivery stood out, there was a glimmer in his eyes that made him charming, irresistible and humane. He warmed the hearts of many young ladies and of King George VI. The King and Queen of England owned the movie alongside FDR, and for a movie that was from Daisy's perspective, there were many private moments that she was not and could not be part of. Given that the king and queen had to follow the tough act of Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech, their interaction was both interesting and amusing as they adjusted to America.
The movie makers enjoyed the freedom of creating the private moments of the leaders of America and Britain. Though the movie offers its few best moments in the interaction between the King and Queen, the most noteworthy performance and interaction was the first private meeting of FDR and King George VI. In that very fulfilling scene, the leaders had a honest one on one, and  Roosevelt spoke candidly to the young king about how the people choose to look on their strengths not their weaknesses.

Hyde Park on Hudson was slow in weaving each scene into another, but it never felt dry. Each scene was orchestrated to highlight a point or pass across a message. The movie was comedic, and I was laughing a heck lot at a movie that showcases insecurities, broken hearts and the coming together of two great nations on the edge of a war.

Hyde Park on Hudson is at the theaters on Friday, December 7th. 

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

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1 comment:

  1. that is great! really, i mean it! thanks for sharing!viewster


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