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)
When the King and Queen of England drive through the gates at Hyde Park, and shortly thereafter when they are received by the president, the Marine detail would have been sharply commanded to raise their rifles to the position of "present-arms"--their rifles remain at their sides the entire time. 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...
See more »
Two noticeable aspects on this site - the paucity of reviews of this period piece film and the number of negative comments that seem to blanket the responses to this very quiet little recreation of a moment in history about which few may be aware. In many ways this film, as written by Richard Nelson and directed by Roger Michell, resembles a little European art film: the recreation of conditions in the USA in the post Depression era are remarkably apt and set a fine tenor for the story (including the musical score!). In the end this is a tale about how men in powerful places interrelate in moments of tension and how those same men have flaws both physical and in character that would weigh down ordinary fellows. But the story is about a particular summer in when Britain, on the brink of war with Hitler, visited America, hoping for Allied assistance in the war that was to become World War II.
The setting is the home away form the White House - Hyde Park on the Hudson, the home of FDR's mother (Elizabeth Wilson) who still ruled the roost despite her son's political role. FDR is enchantingly portrayed by Bill Murray who is able to show all sides of FDR's personality - his response to being a victim of polio, his wisdom at running a country beaten down by the Depression, and his need for multiple liaisons with women. In one household we meet Missy (Elizabeth Marvel) who has been both secretary and lover of some time, Daisy (Laura Linney) who is FDR's fifth cousin who enters the coterie because of her honesty and genuine affection for FDR, and we hear about 'Mrs Rutherford', yet another of FDR's affairs, and of course there is the presence of Eleanor Roosevelt (a superb Olivia Williams). Though the film seems to want to emphasize the development and course of FDR's affair with Daisy, the story gratefully focuses on the visit from The King and Queen of England - a first: Bertie (Samuel West) stutters his way into the favor of FDR while Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) tolerates her King- husband's lack of social graces and holds a lifted nose to the crude Americans. The highlight of the film is a glorious scene of a conversation between Bertie and FDR regarding their personal physical embarrassments and their joint world views. In the end there is a picnic where all comes to resolution.
For this viewer the portrayal by Bill Murray was a revelation for this actor. His version of FDR is a fine blend of humor, vulnerability, pride overcoming his need to be carried everywhere because of his paralysis, and his genuine sense of kindness and caring for his people. If his flaw was promiscuity, given the times and the presence of the powerful and stand-alone wife, it is a minor one. Laura Linney's Daisy is somewhat of a frump, kind and sensitive but clumsy, and has little to do except voice-over narration. But the rest of the cast is superb. This is a film that deserves a much wider audience than it has received.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this