"You have done a brilliant thing."
In this splendid new HBO film about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his wife Eleanor says to him, "You have done a brilliant thing here, a magnificent thing." She's speaking of his work at Warm Springs, the polio rehabilitation center in Georgia, but the same can be said for Kenneth Branagh's charismatic portrayal of America's almost legendary president, who was elected four times and died in office in 1945. So many fine comments have been made about the film that I won't go over the same ground. It has obviously been created with love and care -- the production values are top notch, the screenplay and direction are strong. The casting could not been better -- there's not a weak performance in it, down to the smallest role. Mr. Branagh leads a superb company which includes Cynthia Nixon, David Paymer, Kathy Bates, Jane Alexander -- I add a special word for Tim Blake Nelson who gives a heartbreaking performance as the manager of Warm Springs. I can't imagine anyone who would fail to enjoy this film. Bravo, HBO!
- May 6, 2005
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