Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hyde Park on Hudson - Charming and Intimate

Hyde Park on Hudson was a charming historical drama which cast new light on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Taking place in 1939 on the very eve of WWII, the film focuses on Roosevelt (superbly played by Bill Murray) and his 6th cousin Margaret “Daisy” Suckley (played by Laura Linney) who is asked to visit with the President by his mother during this stressful and busy time for the administration.  Their relationship starts out awkward but Roosevelt’s charm and wit quickly woo the shy Daisy into an intimate and secretive friendship.  Their lives are quickly entangled and Daisy becomes a key figure at Hyde Park, the President’s private country refuge.  The film also centers on a pivotal visit by King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth to Hyde Park for a weekend of relaxation.  The trip is highly anticipated as most of the public and the administration expect the visit to lead to discussions about America’s entry into the rising conflict in Europe.  The visit begins with mixed emotions and an extreme sense of culture shock with the Royals both shocked and appalled at the notion of eating hot dogs for lunch.  But after putting inhibitions and skepticism aside the Brits have a wonderful time and the visit turns out to be highly successful.  With the whole story of Daisy and the President recently coming to light after the discovery of Daisy’s journals after her death, their story is a nice contrast to the seriousness of the King’s visit.  Plenty of comic relief and beautiful scenery make this a film that is both historically accurate and fun to watch.  Part romantic comedy, part historical docu-drama, Hyde Park on Hudson is a must see.

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