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8/10
Wonderful Performance By Bill Murray
georgep5326 December 2012
I don't get all the negativity directed at this film. I thought it was charming and witty. History is rarely so much fun.

The story is simple enough. On the eve of World War II King George VI and his wife journey to the US to see President Roosevelt at his family's Hyde Park retreat hoping to secure American support against Nazi Germany. The FDR we see here isn't the Great Depression/war leader he's a weary man battling polio and trying to find solace in relationships with a distant cousin among others.

Bill Murray gives an amazing performance humanizing the 32nd president an avid stamp collector who during this period when another European war appeared inevitable was more likely to find himself seeking peaceful coexistence between his dominating mother and estranged wife, Eleanor. Laura Linney is Margaret Suckley an unassuming, humble cousin who becomes a regular visitor to the retreat at the time of the royal visit. Samuel West and Olivia Colman are a convincing King and Queen making the first visit in history to the US by a British monarch. I found "Hyde Park On the Hudson" a delightful little film and the 95 minutes flew by leaving me wishing for more.
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9/10
Franklin Delano Murray.
Dan Franzen (dfranzen70)31 December 2012
Hyde Park on Hudson is no mixed bag, as some may have you think. Bill Murray turns in a perfectly mannered, whimsical performance as FDR and is very ably supported by an award-worthy cast that includes Laura Linney and Olivia Williams. It's funny, yes, but it's not a laugh riot, nor is it meant to be. It's a postcard look at a lost time, the first visit of an English monarch to a sitting U.S. president, dappled with a touch of uncertain, unlikely, and illicit romance.

It's a few years before The Big One, WWII, but there's a storm a-brewing in Europe. Everyone knows it, but relations between the U.S. and England have been strained, something about revolting and then fighting in the War of 1812. Ancient history to some but not all, it would seem. At any rate, King George VI and Queen Consort Elizabeth (Samuel West and Olivia Coleman, respectively) travel to America to visit Roosevelt with the intention of securing his support for the upcoming war. But rather than host them in stuffy Washington, DC, FDR (contrary to the real visit) invites his royal guests to his home away from home, Springwood, a stately manor in upstate New York. It happens to be on the Hudson River, or near it, in case the title has tripped you up.

Now, FDR was quite an unusual president. He was the last to serve more than two terms, as the Constitution was amended later. Also, he had polio, which he had contracted as a child. The funny thing is this - people went to great lengths to pretend nothing was wrong with Roosevelt's legs whatsoever. The Emperor had no clothes. Even the press were complicit, gamely waiting for the president to be lowered into the back of a convertible before taking their pictures and asking their questions. Can you imagine that today? The slightest limp by a leader seems to imply a lack of leadership in the minds of some.

And so it was at the time, only not. The nation turned its eyes to Roosevelt as a resolute, optimistic leader, a man who could help them finally rid themselves of that awful Depression, and so they gladly ignore whatever shortcomings he may have. The king of England, meanwhile, is in a similar situation. He is the same George depicted in The King's Speech - you know, the one about the king who stuttered? FDR, who is much older, is not as self conscious about his malady as he used to be, whereas poor George is practically frozen by his own. Now, recall that the king and queen are visiting to gain the support of America; FDR already knows this. He could easily just issue a statement to the effect that the USA would help England in any way it could, but he chooses to host royalty instead. He wishes to meet the man beneath the crown, and he wishes to size him up.

Enter into the fray a quite-distant cousin of FDR, a Daisy Stuckley (Linney), who narrates the story. Daisy is introduced to the president, and somehow they find a connection. Daisy, like the arriving king, is also unsure of herself, a bit of an ugly duckling among the glamor of the president's residence. They find in each other a kindred spirit. Franklin is more or less estranged from his saintly wife Eleanor at this point (they live in separate houses in New York!), and although he cannot walk, he does enjoy him some female company.

But what is this story really about, anyway? It depends on your own perspective. Some will see this as a docudrama reflecting the meeting of two leaders (and their wives); some will see it as a comedy, an intelligent, subtle comedy with a barely smirking Bill Murray. Others still will find romance in almost every scene, no matter who the players, no matter where the setting.

Murray deserves an Oscar nomination here, and perhaps the Academy will make up for their Lost in Translation snub. Linney does as well; her Daisy never undergoes a sudden transformation into a woman with a real backbone. She seems sad much of the time, working in the White House with tightened lips. Her life appears joyless; that is, until she has some alone time with Franklin, whence a window to a sunnier day slowly opens.

Hyde Park on Hudson is a gorgeous movie with a splendid, bemused, and convincing performance by Bill Murray as our 32nd president and endearing, exhilarating role for Laura Linney. Each should be richly rewarded come award time.
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7/10
Beautiful but Half Baked
angiequidim7 December 2012
By Marie Cinquino www.thatsmye.com

On the surface, Hyde Park on Hudson is about Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and one of his mistresses, his far removed cousin Margaret Suckley (Laura Linney), who is our narrator. We are to assume that the New Deal is underway, and FDR is under much stress awaiting the visit of the King and Queen of England;it is the first time British Royalty have traveled to the United States to meet with American politicians. Margaret's company has been requested to help the President deal with his tension and to give him an excuse to get out of his office and relax. However, as the movie progresses, Margaret's presence and character becomes increasingly less important and interesting. Richard Nelson's writing feels unorganized, and quickly the relationship between FDR and King George VI (Samuel West) seems to become the focal point. As the characters develop and the drama unfolds, it becomes clear the only real constant theme here is the shedding of false ideas about others and the self.

I thought seeing Bill Murray as FDR would be distracting, but he was believable and lovable. The relationship he creates with King George VI was a display of the best writing and acting in the whole film. The two stay up late talking, sharing with one another what they feel is expected of them by their families, their countries, and themselves. They wind up drinking and comparing their physical imperfections, polio and stuttering. It seems to be a profound moment in which they become comfortable with one another, themselves, and the unity between their countries. From this point on, all of the relationships become more real and approachable. The King and Queen endure a sleepless night lighting one another's cigarettes, the President is shown to be an average man in many ways (although brilliant), and Margret's fantastic ideas about her place in the presidents life are boiled down to a much more realistic perspective.

Although some relationships between characters are enjoyable, the writing that takes us there is shaky. Margaret is introduced so strongly, and we are convinced she will play an important role, but she seems to disappear as soon as another plot point comes along. Her character seemed more of a cheap vessel to create momentum than an actual developed character. She becomes less interesting than every other character, and I end up wishing to see more of Eleanor Roosevelt (Olivia Williams) and the Queen (Olivia Colman). While the writing often feels loosely knit, the camera work is never disappointing. The scenery is beautiful and simple. It reflects these characters that are learning about themselves. It is bare bones and lovely.

Hyde Park on Hudson had its moments. I liked seeing King George VI eat hotdogs, the Queen smoke cigarettes, and FDR go swimming in a turn of the century bathing suit. However this film could have been so much better. It felt like Nelson forgot about his own plot. The gaps he left were huge and left me wondering why there were so many lose ends. The script needs to be beefed up and full cooked. There's still pink in this meat.
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8/10
Through one affair, one perfect friendship is formed at the beautiful Hyde Park on Hudson
napierslogs9 February 2013
In 1939, King George VI (Samuel West) and Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) made the trek across the ocean to visit American President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray) at "Hyde Park on Hudson". It was the first trip of its kind and tensions were high. First Lady Eleanor and Mother Roosevelt expected perfection, and the Queen (the eventual Queen Mother) also expected perfection. Roosevelt was in no shape to deliver perfection.

Mostly confined to a wheelchair and married to a woman he did not love, Roosevelt reportedly had affairs. The film focuses on one such affair that started just before the King and Queen of England were to arrive. Margaret "Daisy" Suckley (Laura Linney) is FDR's distant cousin and she is excited for this new turn in her life. She essentially moves into the Hyde Park residence, is convinced of Roosevelt's need for her, and won't accept a lesser role in his life. She's a tough pill to swallow and it's unfortunate that she's the main character of the film.

The best characters of the film are easily Franklin Roosevelt and Bertie (the King). Murray transforms Roosevelt into such a humanized version of the esteemed President that he's always relatable, always likable and always entertaining despite the pedestal that he's on and despite the pedestal that he probably shouldn't be on. West gives a pitch-perfect, award-deserving portrayal of the humble would-be King providing an understanding confidante for the President. Together they provide the film with an undeniable comedic chemistry and also an honest dynamic that gives it a much needed stability as it tries to find its way as a comedic, dramatic biopic.

The other women in the film, notably: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (Olivia Williams), Mrs. Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth, were portrayed with a likely honest, indifferent, and distant air. That approach allows the film to make no judgements about these three strong, independent and forceful women who have all forged their way into history. We only see them through their equally strong husbands (and son) and we can form our own opinions.

True to its name, "Hyde Park on Hudson" has beautiful cinematography. While it's shot in England rather than New York, it is a suitable substitution, recognizing the source of the inspiration for the name, the architecture and the landscaping of the Presidential family estate in upstate New York.
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7/10
Bill Murray Carries His Latest Effort
LoveYourMovies25 December 2012
Bill Murray is a comedy LEGEND and an American favorite. Everyone just about has a favorite Bill Murray moment or movie. Whats not to like he has a style that is truly his own and a swagger that draws you despite not being the type that craves the labels. While always being a good actor it's only in the last 15 or so years that people have stood up and taken notice that he can act beyond his comedic roots. With a few roles several years ago that showed this such as Where The Buffalo Roam in which he portrayed Hunter S. Thompson and 1984's The Razor's Edge he primarily stuck with his comedic roots, and why not it had served him so well for so long. in 1998 he made Rushmore with visionary director Wes Anderson and suddenly he wasn't Carl Spackler or Dr. Peter Venkman anymore, he was an actor.

In 2004 he was honored with his first Academy Award nomination for his outstanding performance in Lost In Translation for which he was visibly disappointed that he was the recipient. 9 years later he just may be poised for his second Oscar nomination for his unbelievable portrayal of former president Franklin D. Roosevelt. A most unlikely choice on the film maker behalf, but one that will prove to be a proud choice. The film is Hyde Park On Hudson with whom he co-stars along side the always great Laura Linney.

The story is one of an affair the president had with an extremely distant cousin that carried on for years when he would retreat to Hyde Park, NY of which he was quite fond of doing much of his work from there. During the early stages of the affair a monumental occasion occurred when the new king of England became the first king to visit American soil in history. King George VI affectionately known as Bertie, who was recently portrayed by Academy Award winner Colin Firth in The Kings Speech, was very new to his position and felt it best to visit the US and the president to keep up relations. Over a weekend in Hyde Park the king and president formed a very special relationship that proved vital as WWII would shortly break out a few weeks later.

What is most intriguing was that you had to fine men in positions of great power that at the same time had great flaws, Bertie with his stutter and Roosevelt with his partial paralysis. The film has a fine moment when the two converse late one night and the president clearly seems to instill a great confidence in the king when they both realize many similarities in each other.

Over the same weekend the president's affair with his cousin, Daisy quickly becomes threatened and almost comes to a complete halt.

The film is a fine story and well told but it's not without rhythmic issues and has several slow moments. It is without question carried on the shoulders of Murray's performance. It's not a story that has you drawn in within seconds and has some difficulty keeping you there. It is though a good movie that deserves to be soon for Murray alone.

Murray shows the often unknown and unseen humorous side the president Roosevelt and does it with great perfection. His portrayal is one of the great performances of a historical figure in recent years. The one flaw in his award chances may be he happens to be against another fine actor playing an iconic president in Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln. It's a story every years where a deserving actor comes away empty handed because someone just happens to be on another level.

Murray's day will come at some point. His commitment to taking great roles and being someone different every time only proves that. Unfortunately we will have to wait a little longer. Loveyourmovies.com
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Certain Flaws With Story but Performances Carry Film
Michael_Elliott15 January 2013
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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might just as well have been titled "What happens at Hyde Park Stays at Hyde Park."
The_Film_Cricket7 December 2012
Hyde Park on Hudson might just as well have been titled "What happens at Hyde Park Stays at Hyde Park." We'd be glad if it did because, based on this movie, nothing of any real interest really happened there despite the presence of FDR, Eleanor, and The King and Queen of England. Here we have four of the most fascinating people of the 20th century in the same place at a time when storm clouds of Nazi aggression were about to burst and the screenplay focuses on FDR's infidelity and the Queen's concern over a picnic where she will be forced to eat hot dogs.

The movie takes place in the summer of 1939, when Franklin Roosevelt (Bill Murray) was spending some time at his country estate at Hyde Park. The movie deals with two events that took place that summer. First was FDR's intimate relationship with Margaret "Daisy" Stuckley (Laura Linney), his sixth cousin, who would become his mistress. The details of their relationship take place in long shots and quiet passages of dialogue that seem muted as if they simply don't have anything to say to one another. The heat in their attraction comes from their mutual admiration over – get this – his stamp collection. How he used this as an aphrodisiac to attract women is a question the movie doesn't really know how to answer, all you can deduce is that intimacy that grows out of admiration over stamps is about as exciting as it sounds.

The other story deals with a visit to Hyde Park by King George VI (Samuel West) and Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Coleman). No British monarch had ever visited America before. They are the pillars of England at a moment when Hitler is about to steamroll over much of Europe, and his Majesty has come west to speak with The President about an alliance that would overthrow the Fuehrer. Yet the movie leaves that important issue around the edges of the movie. Except for one effective scene between The President and The King, in which they both understand that they have physical ailments that they are trying to hide (one is disabled by polio, and the other has a stuttering problem), the movie has no real interest in their relationship. It is understood that America came to Britain's aid and the story of the king and queen is mostly concentrated on their puzzlement with brutish American customs, not just the aforementioned hot dogs, but the picnic and the Native American dancers that will be performing therein.

The story of the king and queen doesn't work because it doesn't move beyond their initial shock over American customs. The story of FDR's infidelity doesn't work because we simply don't care. Part of the problem is Daisy herself. She is our point of view in the film but she's such a blank slate that we have no foothold in her story. Laura Linney is a fine actress but she stands at a distance from FDR, admiring him but hardly saying a word except in narration. That narration, by the way, is so lazy, quiet and tired that it comes off like a particularly dull audio book. Roosevelt's relationship with Eleanor is nearly non-existence. It is known that after The President's relationship with is secretary two decades earlier, she had chosen to be his wife in name only, but where is the tension between them. Olivia Williams occupies the role of Eleanor not as a supporting character but almost as a fixture of the set.

To be fair, the performance by Bill Murray isn't bad. He is an unusual choice for this role and it is good to see him take such a risk, but you never feel that you're in the presence of the 32nd President. Murray is a good actor and he captures some of FDR's wit but he doesn't have the towering presence that made him such an American icon. This is a tiny movie, a meager effort that looks great but doesn't really go anywhere. You don't learn anything and there is no sense that you are getting a behind-the-curtain look at anything but really pretty pictures.

** (of four)
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5/10
A pleasant period film, but devoid of conflict
Movie_Muse_Reviews15 January 2013
"Hyde Park on Hudson" might forever be known as that other film in 2012 featuring a U.S. president — if anyone remembers it at all. Both films are entirely different portrayals, namely in the scope of both the stories they tell and the span of time in which they take place, but only one of them is giddy over being a period piece, and it's not "Lincoln."

Taking in place in 1939 prior the U.S. committing to what would become World War II, "Hudson" is a film mostly content with being pretty, excited by putting actors in period clothes who pretend to be world leaders. None of these performances are bad, (quite the opposite in fact) but the little piece of history they're reenacting lacks any bit of import.

Bill Murray as Franklin Roosevelt isn't even the center of the film. Instead it's our narrator, Daisy (Laura Linney), FDR's distant cousin, whose diary and memoirs Richard Nelson used to craft the screenplay. She relays a story of romance, but one that's modest and presumed, occurring up to and during the arrival of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth from England to Hyde Park on Hudson, home of FDR's mother and his home away from Washington.

The film invests a lot in presenting FDR in such a casual manner, but this notion of candid access is hardly thrilling, either because the man has been dead for almost 70 years, or because it barely shows him in the context of being president — just a man who people treat with great respect and admiration who is surrounded by a lot of people all the time. Any American who studied the president in school knows about his polio and how he was able to keep the country oblivious to it with cooperation from the press, so that's hardly a hook either.

Murray is certainly an unusual but inspired choice. Playing a light-hearted and relaxed FDR makes sense for him, though if tested it would be wrong to doubt his capability to command attention in the role. The film doesn't seem too interested in digging into his psyche, just peeling back the curtain enough to show a man who longed for the affections of women and whose outlook and world view was different from other people in positions of power during his time.

Linney is such a wasted talent as the meek and naive Daisy. Although she narrates throughout, she disappears in stretches, even after the script establishes very clearly that this is her story. She doesn't factor into the conflict until late, and that's if you can consider it conflict. Normally, choosing not to embellish the details of an alleged affair in melodramatic Hollywood fashion would be worthy of much commendation, but the details of their relationship are so vague and the process by which Daisy comes to have feelings for FDR and vice-versa so ambiguous that you feel nothing toward either of them.

The arrival of King George VI (Samuel West) and Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) in Hyde Park provides the film a pair of interesting characters and ultimately something to happen in what would otherwise be a purposeless portrait of a president and his sometimes-lover cousin. George has just assumed power after his brother abdicated the throne and they come to America desperate to forge a partnership between England and the U.S.

Therein could be the conflict at the heart of "Hudson," but the film maintains its light and often jocular tone instead, despite a footnote suggesting the events depicted were crucial to the special relationship between the countries. In essence, much stock is put into the symbol of King George biting into a hot dog.

"Hyde Park on Hudson" is a pleasant film, but it presumes to be interesting on the basis that it depicts famous political figures and exposes a beloved president's unflattering personal life. Maybe that's an exaggerated assumption of the film's intent, but it doesn't tell a story of any kind as far as plot structure goes. It's a great advertisement for a film audiences would prefer to see about who FDR really was, but in and of itself, it fails to offer any acute insight.

~Steven C

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5/10
Mediocre costume drama that wanted to be so much more.
twilliams767 January 2013
Hyde Park on Hudson is a film that wishes to be seriously esteemed and respected as a minor historical film account of a momentous occasion; but it never gives its audience a serious reason to do so. It isn't a bad movie, it just never becomes the good one that it wants to be.

It (primarily) recounts the events of a weekend in June 1939 in upstate New York when the sitting -- this wasn't typed as a pun -- US president Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray -- Rushmore, Lost in Translation) welcomes the British King and Queen to his country estate. It was notable because a reigning British monarch had never visited America before and England was on the verge of war with Germany. Also in abundance at the estate -- meddling women ... be it mother, wife, secretary or mistress.

Laura Linney (Primal Fear, Kinsey) plays Daisy -- a distant cousin to FDR -- who is sent-for to help with FDR's wandering mind and calm him. Over time (the film spans more than a weekend), they become rather close and form another type of kinship. The story is told through Daisy which means we hear lots of narration and are given many snippets of time passing before the weekend (to see them develop a relationship -- which an audience never really does) until the monarchs arrive and it becomes ALL about the weekend.

There are plenty of decent moments in Hyde Park on Hudson including Murray as FDR and some wonderful shots of beautiful country landscapes. The film looks nice and the period detail will win some over; but the film fails to ever make a connection with Daisy. As the central character, the audience is given no real reason to want to follow her ... why is she really even here? I don't want to call her bland but the film gives us no reason to believe otherwise and absolutely no real reason as to why her and FDR forged their bond.

I appreciated the depictions of the King and Queen (this is the stuttering king Colin Firth won an Oscar for playing a few years ago and Olivia Colman is quite good as the uncomfortable queen) and their struggles with being in America such as their trying to fathom the "rage" about hot dogs.

Sadly, most of the rest of the film is empty -- like the Hyde Park estate would be when FDR returned to Washington. This should have been so much more ...
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4/10
Hide from Hyde
Quietb-17 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Bill Murray adds a certain charm as FDR and will get Golden Globe attention.

Some good moments, but at 96 minutes it's too long and redundant. Scenes drag like the King and Queen of England debating the insulting cartoons on the wall of their room and the meaning of Hot Dogs. When one crash of dishes is effective, try two. Then there are things we would like more of like FDR bonding with Bertie, rather then hear about it as he tells the queen. Much of the important action is told and not shown.

It's Laura Linny's movie from point of view and voice over. In one great moment she expresses her true feelings, (but it doesn't really happen).

The movie looks good with excellent cinematography, Art Direction and Set Design.

FDR is portrayed as an unlikable alcoholic womanizer. You don't care about him or the woman that surround him. With so many Holiday movie options, pass on this one.
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6/10
Tentative smiles of a summer night...
moonspinner5524 January 2016
In 1939, Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, fifth cousin to the current U.S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, is summoned to visit FDR at his country estate in Hyde Park, NY. He initiates a sexual relationship with her--we're told he thrives on the adoring eyes of young women--which surprisingly does not complicate his state of affairs, the fact he's married, or that his mother is a constant factor in his life. Bill Murray plays Roosevelt with wry humor and an unpretentious lift of the chin; crippled at this point by polio, yet unselfconscious about using crutches or by being carried around by an assistant, this Commander in Chief is a steady, low-keyed man, so lacking in drama he's almost easy to miss in a crowd. Written by Richard Nelson and directed by Roger Michell, "Hyde Park on Hudson", which is ostensibly based upon Suckley's diaries (discovered posthumously), is austere and tasteful and pointless. The Roosevelts' lack of a grand showing when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit is faintly amusing (the Royals are initially perplexed or put-off by the mild reception, but come to love FDR for his unadorned hospitality). Lara Linney as Daisy has to grapple with her feelings for a man whose time (and intimacy) must be shared, and occasionally she's too much of a sad anchor on the narrative; still, Linney's underplaying is in tune with Michell's handling, and she manages to carve out a genuine character without a lot to work with. The film has lovely passages, but is so thin it has to use Daisy's sense of betrayal for narrative tension (which is useless since nothing much is done to satisfy her--or us). Samuel West is wonderful as the stammering King (who livens up an otherwise disastrous formal dinner) and Olivia Williams is a fine Eleanor. **1/2 from ****
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7/10
Rather bland but diverting; may as well have had Murray and Linney reading aloud from the diary.
george.schmidt16 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
HYDE PARK ON HUDSON (2012) **1/2 Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Marvel, Olivia Williams, Elizabeth Wilson. Rather bland but diverting enough account of the affair of FDR (gamely played by Murray) and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley (Linney very low-key and perhaps miscast) whose arrival to his enclave during the 1939 visit of the King and Queen of England (West and Colman) is the soft center that holds the picture on high in this otherwise negligible, forgettable historical biopic. While Roger Michell gives his actors plenty of room to work there's a listlessness to the tone and Richard Nelson's pedestrian script may as well have had Murray and Linney reading aloud from the diary.
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2/10
Wow. I was bored
gaelmarconi1225 May 2013
I really wanted to see this film and rented it to watch at home.

Story is slow and when you're expecting something to happen, it doesn't.

Totally disappointed in this movie. I always enjoyed Laura Linny and Bill Murray and this film had a sort of Altman feel to it but it just dragged.

I found myself hitting the fast forward button in some scenes.

Additionally, I knew FDR was a philanderer but this story really depicts him as a multiple woman Lothario. Lost even more respect for FDR.

Olivia Williams does a good job portraying Elenor. I guess Elenor wasn't the best host in her time.

Good cast but the story and direction is a downer.
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7/10
Sweet film
karl_consiglio27 June 2013
A rather sweet film. Not Bill Murray as we expect him. And yet I couldn't imagine anyone more suitable. Much ado about nothing really and men know that. Women worry too much. Two great flawed personalities as we all are. They have a drink. A smoke. A hot dog. Share a joke. While the women hassle about as usual. A lot of terrible things could have been avoided had there been more pleasant weekends like this. The presence of the American Indians made quite an impression. Because they got screwed more than the female Americans in this film at the end of the day. Funny to see a British King still telling his wife not to compare him to his brother while an American President is having his wife and lovers coming to terms with the fact that he has other lovers. Those pictures on the wall depicting the British as monkeys, as the characters in the film suggested, were indeed rather symbolically true at the end of the day although the Americans were supposedly supposed to be the less sophisticated.
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10/10
A LIttle Summer Music
gradyharp10 April 2013
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.

Grady Harp
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10/10
It's not what you think: it is soft, absorbing and very endearing!
Tim Johnson9 April 2013
We saw this marvellous sleeper of a film yesterday and we both left the theatre feeling happy that we had seen such a positive film. It was a slice from FDR's extraordinary life and it focused, surprising for us, on aspects of his personal rather than political life. As the title suggests it took place totally at his vacation home in rural New York and centred on his relationship with various people attached to his office or his vacation home.

There is a lovely section about mid-way through the film that involves the king and queen of England on a state visit and it brings out many fascinating observations about the disparity between the two countries. The pretension of the House of Windsor takes a bit of a thump but all turns out well in the end.

As to the technicalities of putting the film together I admit to be completely taken by the acting of all the on-screen actors; I loved the photography, the set decoration, the lighting and the shot selection by the director. The totality of the film was absolutely brilliant! I knew that Hollywood had it in them to create a movie of this gentle kind but the silliness of the Disney studios seem to preclude movies of this calibre making a buck which is the only thing Hollywood cares about in our era of corporatism. See it at all costs!
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2/10
What is the purpose?
FlushingCaps4 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Hyde Park on Hudson attempts to tell two stories concerning Franklin Roosevelt's visits to Hyde Park, where he shared a house with his mother, and had a separate cottage set up for visits with lady friends, and where he had as overnight guests in 1939, England's King George and Elizabeth, the Queen Consort.

Bill Murray does a fine job presenting a Roosevelt that was witty and clever, yet scheming and manipulative as well. Laura Linney as Daisy seems to be the real star, narrating and telling about her relationship with the President, who is a distant cousin. The film begins with her narrating how she was asked, out of the blue, to come see him—she lived nearby, and how he started showing her his stamp collection, then took her for car rides in his specially designed car that had hand controls for everything so FDR could drive himself.

They roar through the countryside. We see flowers and hills and, with the title being Hyde Park on Hudson, we look in vain for the Hudson River. It isn't there because the entire movie was filmed in England. I learn from other IMDb sources that the Roosevelt homes portrayed look nothing like the real life buildings either. That's O.K., Bill Murray didn't look too much like FDR anyhow.

After seeing a hint that Daisy's relationship was perhaps turning physical with the president, the storyline leaves this to focus on the visit, four years after Daisy started meeting with her cousin, of the royal couple of the United Kingdom.

In real life, they met the president in Washington and journeyed with him to Hyde Park, where they stayed overnight and tried to get him to commit to helping Britain in the coming war. Of course, the president committed to nothing, and Europe was at war for well over 2 years before we joined. One wonders, had our presidential elections been in 1938 and 1942, if Roosevelt would have gotten us involved shortly after the 1939 invasion of Poland. His reelection of 1940 was surely the main reason why he wasn't about to get us into a war right before that happened.

In the film, the royal couple provide many of the small laughs, as they discuss differences in American and English customs, particularly the planned menu of hot dogs at the picnic. Elizabeth seemed so aghast at this delicacy, you would think she believe they were actually made of dog meat. They see FDR with another of his mistresses, outside the house from their upstairs window, and they just smile and wave.

At the "picnic" we see Murray carried across the grounds to his table, which is, more or less, on the porch, not the grass. My trouble here was that this was in full view of well over a hundred people at tables spread all across the lawn. I know he was carried to places at times, but my understanding was that whenever there were people around who weren't in his inner circle, he arranged to avoid having them see that he needed to be carried like a small boy.

Because he had learned Daisy was offended at not being invited to the big dinner the night before, he made sure to invite her to sit right beside him at the picnic. The film even shows Daisy putting mustard on the king's hot dog. I have learned that in real life, she couldn't have put the mustard on for the king because she was sitting two tables away from them.

The film definitely picked up when the royal guests arrive. Before that, we had the tedious scenes of FDR showing his stamps to Daisy and chatting about nothing as he drove her around. I thought the first 25 minutes or so were quite boring.

But since the scenes with the royal couple were not at all close to reality, and nothing was really accomplished other than the vague renewal of friendship between the two nations, I cannot see why this film was made.

From various sources, the portrayal of King George and Elizabeth was not very close to their personalities in any way. The king was just 13 years younger than our president, yet FDR kept treating him as though he were old enough to be his father. It seemed like a ploy to make it seem like it was our president whose wise counsel enabled King George to be bold enough to achieve all that he did in his reign as king.

The entire Daisy story was an utter bore. Apparently the diaries she left behind, published as a book and studied by historians, do not claim any kind of sexual relationship with FDR, as is suggested by the film. Her character in the film is totally uninteresting. We learn nothing about her life away from her visits with the president, other than that she lives with an aunt and takes care of her. Her big dramatic scene comes when she learns that the president has, at least one, other mistress. We are given to feel sorry for her because she feels hurt to learn that the married man with whom she is having an affair, has another woman he's seeing? Critics claim the movie's two stories made it unfocused. I agree. We saw no political maneuvering of FDR, no dealing with his work while at Hyde Park. We got no glimpses of his plans for reelection, or what he thought needed to happen for us to become involved in the war. If we weren't to learn about real historical events, and weren't really seeing characters portrayed realistically, what was the point?
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8/10
Bill Murray is a Delight and a Damn Fine Actor
Edward Rosenthal28 December 2012
There's a dreamlike haze that surrounds and infuses nearly every scene of this curiously entertaining film. The gauzy light that filters though speckled windows and reflects off polished fixtures softly reveals a placid world of gentle familial discord. We are casually introduced to a married couple who are living their lives on unusual terms, by special laws of their own devising. Franklin is a randy scamp, a bon vivant barely hampered by his uncooperative lower limbs, courting a modest bevy of willing paramours, while Eleanor is a self assured modern women pursuing her own personal interests. They seem to have settled upon an arrangement, perhaps as much out of mutual love and respect as out of practicality. There is a Depression out there, millions are suffering for sure, but here upon these sylvan landscapes and within these manicured chambers unfolds a tale as absurd and as charming as a nursery rhyme, and yet it is real.

Well, as real as can be expected of a film that seeks to dance with our hearts and minds, to sweep us up in its gentle but irrepressible rhythms, to twirl and pirouette us just enough to get us giddy. Or even a little dizzy, because that's what I imagine it must have felt like to be on the verge of another world war, witnessing our European allies being thrashed and slaughtered mercilessly by some new bizarre evil force - dizzying. England had been witnessing at very close hand Germany's assault upon the continent. Some might say the Brits were perfectly dignified in their solemn comportment, but things were getting dire as the Nazi rhetoric intensified along with the escalating violence. This is the grim backdrop to events that transpired that weekend in a woodland paradise in New York state in the summer of '39 when His and Her Majesties had dispatched themselves to our coarse, uncouth shores on an unprecedented mission of desperation. It was an act of humiliation, or so the Queen believed, in spite of her stammering husband's reassurances. Their plaintive cries would not be fully answered for another two and a half years, but that is not the point of this near farcical cinematic trifle. It's concerned with more modest, more intimate matters. The film rightfully takes it for granted that its audience is sufficiently familiar with pre war American ideals and morality and is aware of the imminent cataclysmic events that are to reshape the entire world so there's just no need to meticulously restate the obvious or bludgeon us with factuality. If the film plays it fast and loose with certain elements, well that's an issue for the tedious truth patrol to take up. But for me, I heartily embrace the creative liberties they took in fashioning this quaint and compelling curiosity.

I was surprised by how impressed I was with Bill Murray's straightforward but nuanced portrayal. Never emphatic nor ever glib, his approach is supremely assured and relaxed, and continually surprising, but it's a performance that's easy to misread if you're not paying attention. Apparently many viewers simply failed to notice the many, many terrific small flourishes and touches that amount in their entirety to a wholly formed, genuine character. I suppose Bill's performance is too small of a miracle to get most people excited, considering just how few other critics and reviewers have mentioned the degree to which he mastered the East Coast Elite accent and demeanor and posture, all of which are too often done so atrociously bad in films that a terrible rendition has now become the accepted standard. If you're attentive you'll pick up on the subtle but distinctive shifts in the tone and timbre of his voice, translating the infinite depth of his pain and sorrow and fear into a sort of coded song. Bill's instinctual playfulness serves him well in crafting a persona that's both fun to watch and worthwhile to contemplate, resonating on multiple levels as a sincere and legitimate, if imperfect human. That's a theatrical accomplishment that's too often dismissed, too seldom celebrated.
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6/10
Better Than It Appears
JackCerf16 August 2015
You have to get past two things in this movie. First, although the historians say that the movie took too much dramatic license, the intimacies of FDR's relationship with his distant cousin Daisy Suckely don't really matter. Second, the movie is predominantly about FDR's relationship with the women closest to him -- his highly political wife, Eleanor, his loyal, adoring secretary, Missy LeHand, his adoring and domineering mother, and the safe, quiet, likewise adoring Daisy. Bill Murray, as FDR, floats through a sea of estrogen, sometimes doing an effortless backstroke, sometimes barely keeping his head above the storm waves. Except for two tete a tete meetings with the young King George VI, there is not one scene in which the President of the United States is shown saying anything of substance to another man. That's not surprising, because the principal source for the story is the letters and journal that Daisy kept secret until after her death at age 99. With one major exception, it's all her point of view.

The reason to watch is Bill Murray's marvelous FDR. He looks nothing like the man, of course, but he perfectly captures the FDR manner of insouciance, amiability and insincerity masking unshakable determination. Its a technical performance on a level with Cate Blanchett's impersonation of Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator.

The high point is the two private meetings between FDR and George VI, which Daisy could have known of only at second hand from FDR, if at all. The young king is shown as not only uncertain of himself but somewhat overwhelmed by his queen, who is herself insecure but with a much stronger will. The tone, set by Murray's FDR, is of the two men finally getting some peace and quiet away from female demands and importunities. He uses his mobility, or rather his lack of it, to make a point about will and determination to a younger man suffering from his own disability. I know this is historical fiction, but if this isn't the way it was, it's nice to think so.
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9/10
Dreamy...
Bearauburn2 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
If you like dreamy movies with atmosphere, this film is a sheer delight. The President emerges as a warm, immensely human persona, who urges his aids to spy on his somewhat controlling and volatile mother. The royal visit, though probably historically inaccurate, is displayed with tongue in cheek humor and excellent performances.

Laura Linney is understated and poignant, with a hint of bittersweet.I was also surprised to find a Cherokee Dance at the royal picnic--who could ask for more in a movie?

The British filming location adds a wistful and lovely atmosphere, intensifying the romantic and complex frolic of events.
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9/10
A Delightful Peek into a Little History
bob-rutzel-17 June 2013
After her death Margaret "Daisy" Suckley's letters and notes were found under her bed and is the basis for this story.

In the summer of 1939, President FDR (Bill Murray) is spending some time at his Hyde Park house on the Hudson River in New York. His mother asks Daisy (Laura Linney), his 6th cousin, to spend some time with him so he can relax from the rigors of being President of the United States. On their first drive in the country an intimate relationship starts when FDR puts Daisy's hand on his leg. During this time King George VI (Samuel West) and Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Coleman) of England visit.

As I have often said many, many times before the "comedians" of today do better as dramatic actors as they have the timing for drama, not for comedy. Witness Will Ferrell in STANGER THAN FICTION, Jack Black in BERNIE just to name a couple. Now this may apply or not to Bill Murray because I have seen him do funny things with good timing, but in here he was FDR. No doubt about it. (Hey, he was good in LOST IN TRANSLATION too)

That first drive with FDR and Daisy was the only uncomfortable moment in the entire movie and nothing more like that occurred, but as you go along, you know they are intimate. In time Daisy learns she is not the only "mistress" in the house and lives with it.

Now the meat of the story is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit. They are a taken back by the country living and American customs, but enjoyed all to everyone's satisfaction. There was the question if King George VI would eat a hot dog (he had no idea what that was) at the picnic planned in their honor. After a formal dinner FDR and King George VI take some time to themselves and discuss world events, the rise of Hitler and would the United States help England if Hitler invaded.

If you saw the movie THE KING'S SPEECH you know that King George VI had a stutter that he was embarrassed about. He didn't' want to become King after his brother, King Edward, abdicated, but he did so. Samuel West gave what I consider one of the best performances of someone with an affliction that I have ever seen. No, it wasn't funny. You felt for him. Like Bill Murray becoming FDR, so did Samuel West become King George VI. You almost felt you were there as a part of history. And, really, you were. The scene with the two of them smoking, drinking and discussing everything was pure gold. And, yes, it could have happened exactly like that. Think about it.

And, it is possible that a simple eating of a hot dog –with mustard- cemented the good friendship between two great nations. Think about it. (9/10)

Violence: No. Sex: No, the hand on the leg was already mentioned above. Nudity: No. Language: No, some brief soft stuff.
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6/10
Funny movie
lolo-h3 May 2013
This film has a crazy story , but I think that the story was not true.Because president Roosevelt ,who is played by Bill Murray , has an affair with his cousin,and it crazy .

The actors who play the KIng and the Queen are good actors .

In this movie there are plenty of unexpected events and very humorous ones,

like the moment when king George VI eats a hot- dog.And also there are very strong moment ,like the moment when president Roosevelt and the king speak about their problem.

I found that "Hyde park on Hudson" is a beautiful and crazy movie . I've spend a good moment.
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7/10
A good movie but not what I expected. Murray is good but this is more love story then I expected. Worth seeing. I say B
Tony Heck11 February 2013
"In a time not so very long ago when the world still allowed itself secrets, Frankiln Roosevelt was mine." In 1939 Franklin Roosevelt (Murray) was president and his home away from home is Hyde Park, New York. While he is there he looks for company and finds it in his distant cousin Daisy (Linney). Trying to mend relations with England he invites King George VI to Hyde Park for a meeting. This is the true story of that visit. As many of you know I am a huge history buff and political history mostly. I was looking forward to this movie for those reasons and also for Bill Murray. This was a good movie but not really what I expected at all. The movie does deal with the visit but it's mostly a love story between FDR and Daisy. Bill Murray does do a very good job in this but I think the most interesting character was King George. This is a movie worth seeing but be prepared for more of a love story then a historical one. Overall, good but not what I expected. I give it a B.
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6/10
government must pick up the slack
Lee Eisenberg28 May 2013
Roger Michell's "Hyde Park on Hudson" focuses on an affair between Franklin Roosevelt and his sixth cousin while the British monarchs were visiting. However, it brings up some other things. One scene shows FDR noting that when the private sector can't stimulate the economy, the government has to pick up the slack. His Keynesian policies got the US out of the Great Depression, and yet few politicians champion Keynesianism today. But even more important is Eleanor Roosevelt. She's basically a tertiary character in this movie. Her unwavering activism throughout her entire life should earn her a movie.

But anyway it's a pretty fun movie. A lot of the humor derives from the attempts by both sides to avoid any kind of faux pas (even though some arise). As with a few of his other recent roles, Bill Murray's serious performance here makes it easy to forget that he was once a "Saturday Night Live" cast member and then starred in lovably silly flicks like "Caddyshack" and "Ghostbusters". Worth seeing.
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6/10
Average Performance with good Actor's where is the problem
kloua-amine22 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie deals with the arrival of George 4 with his wife to ask for help because Europe is on the eve of World War 2.Also the story speaks about the intimate relationship between Roosevelt and Daisy Suckley . Daisy is a distant cousin of Roosevelt's . I found this movie average .It's average because first in this movie there's no plot. There's also a problem with the purpose of the movie there's one in every movie but in movie there's no aim. I find the relationship between Roosevelt and Daisy strange . It's weird that daisy and Roosevelt have an intimate relation despite the fact they are distant cousins. I'm wondering if the story is real because it doesn't seem to be true . That's why i rate it just six stars out of then however I licked the actor's game ,in fact the actors of this movie are good actors . But the script stay bad trough
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