After polio threatens his political career in the early 1920s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt desperately searches for a cure to his newly acquired disease, hoping to regain the use of his legs. He learns of a promising spa in Warm Springs, Ga., and travels there, only to find it dilapidated. Determined to overcome polio, Roosevelt invests in the spa's revitalization and sets about recovering, aided by the support of his wife and physical therapist. Written by
"Warm Springs" is a tour de force by Branagh who portrays FDR as a man of money and privilege who is struck down by polio in the early days of his political career. Unable to use his legs he begins to wallow in self pity until he visits a Georgia mineral water spa called Warm Springs where he finds honesty, compassion, kinship, and most of all himself, his wife, and a new sense of purpose. A very pretty period film with good production value, an excellent supporting cast, and sterling performances by Branagh and Nixon, "Warm Springs" would have made an enjoyable stand alone drama. The fact that it's also a biopic about FDR only serves to make it that much more interesting. Another winner for the whole family from HBO. (B+)
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