Hyde Park on Hudson
A fantastic concept gone horribly awry, Hyde Park on Hudson tells the story of the first time an English king visited America. It wasn’t a social call. In 1939, England was in grave danger from Nazi Germany and needed help.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray: Moonrise Kingdom) invited the king and queen to his New York estate, Hyde Park.
This tale of political turmoil and cultural understanding is only the B-plot of Hyde Park on Hudson, which focuses on FDR’s affair with his distant cousin Margaret (Laura Linney: Arthur Christmas). Margaret is a nattering ninny whose scenes both drag and annoy. It’s a shame, since the relationship between FDR and King George — a stuttering monarch crowned only when his brother abdicated — is fascinating and endearing.
Murray is a wonder as FDR, capturing the leader’s charm and wile. What a pity to waste him! It’s worth a look for wonderful performances by Murray and Olivia Williams as Eleanor Roosevelt. But don’t go with high expectations. Hyde Park on Hudson is the equivalent of Twilight for the history set.