As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.
In 1930s Hudson Valley, Margaret "Daisy" Suckley is reacquainted with her distant cousin, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to help him relax at his family estate. That aid soon develops into much more as they become lovers. That puts Daisy in a unique position as Roosevelt receives the King and Queen of Britain in 1939 for a visit. As the Royal couple copes with the President's oddly plebeian arrangements, Daisy learns that there is far more to Roosevelt's life than she realized. With the world about to be set ablaze by war, friendships are struck and perspectives are gained on that special weekend that would make all the difference with a great, but very human, president. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
The gag about the antique anti-UK political cartoons is based on truth. These historic cartoons are located in the foyer of Franklin D. Roosevelt's home, King George VI viewed them them upon arriving in the foyer, and made a brief humorous remark to Roosevelt about the cartoons. See more »
The Navy bandsmen playing during dinner are dressed as officers--bandsmen in the Navy are enlisted sailors. The conductor of the band would have been an officer or warrant officer, but not the bandsmen. See more »
Back then - this is years ago - I couldn't afford secrets. I just had chores. As a child growing up, we had been rich. And then, well, we weren't. And like most people during the Depression, I now lived each day as it came no longer expecting anything. Waiting. For nothing. And then...
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Certain Flaws With Story but Performances Carry Film
Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)
*** (out of 4)
With the King and Queen coming to America for the first time, FDR (Bill Murray) asks his fifth cousin (Laura Linney) to spend some time with him and soon the two become quite close in many ways. HYDE PARK ON HUDSON seems to be getting mostly mixed reviews and that's easy to see why. I think most people will agree that the performances are terrific but it seems like most people, myself included, are caught up with the story or lack of one if you will. What story that is here seems to be all over the place as the film never seems to fully know what it's about. Is it about the relationship between FDR and his cousin? Is it about all the dirty stuff FDR was doing? Is it just a slice-of-pie comedy? Is the main focus the upcoming war? Or is the main focus on whether or not the King will actually eat a hot dog? All of this stuff takes place here and as I said, none of it really gets the spotlight. The film remains very entertaining thanks in large part to the performances but one can't help but wonder what this film would have been like with a stronger, more focused story. With that said, Murray turns in another wonderful performance and I think the best thing that I can say is that when you watch the film you feel as if you're watching the real FDR. Not for a single second do you just see Murray and think of him as an actor doing a performance. Linney doesn't appear to be getting the credit she deserves but her quiet character contains some strong emotion thanks to the actress. Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Olivia Williams and Elizabeth Wilson are also extremely strong in their roles. Director Roger Michell perfectly nails the time as the look of the film is quite compelling and authentic. Another major plus is some great song selection scattered throughout the picture. HYDE PARK ON HUDSON isn't the grand slam many people were expecting but there's still enough here to make it worth viewing.
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