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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 4 February 2013
Most of the press reviews were less than enthusiastic about this film - a string of 2 and 3 star ratings - so I was not too cheerful when my wife insisted on going - but agreed when she offered to pay for lunch afterwards.

And then I found that I really quite enjoyed it. It does have its faults - the control of pace is a bit erratic, some of the performances are a rather one note, and the screenplay sometimes a little obvious. But there are some lovely performances in it - Sam West as George VI is absolutely excellent. I didn't think I wanted to see one more portrayal of that stammer - but he is superb in this and wholly convincing. As is Olivia Colman in a lovely slightly bitchy performance as his wife.

And Bill Murray is also extremely good as Roosevelt. Possibly a little short of depth - you did not really see the steel underneath although the selfishness was clear - but it is beautifully done.

I haven't quite made up my mind about Laura Linney - a splendid subtle performance, quiet and underplayed, until the raw emotion blasts through towards the end. But I just somehow could not quite believe in her.

The location scenery was also beautiful - maybe a bit too much of it. Tighter editing may have made it a slightly better picture.

But I did enjoy it and thought most of the reviews I read were rather unfair. If there were 3.75 stars that's what I would award but since there aren't - I think it is a four.

Lunch wasn't bad either.
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on 20 July 2013
Hyde Park on Hudson is an intimate look at 20th century Anglo-American historical figures at the top of the pile in difficult times. They surprise us as we start ot understand them better. The dialogue illustrates another age with credibility although, of course, this was recreated by the author. I must see this clever film again.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 October 2013
Hyde Park on Hudson is a gentle, lingering film about President Franklin D. Roosevelt at home on his estate of Hyde Park on the Hudson River in upstate New York, his seduction of a distant cousin Daisy and the visit of the young British King and Queen.

Daisy is initially "charmed" by FDR, and then feels betrayed when she realises that she is not the first to be "charmed". She forgives him and moves into the circle of the women he has collected around him, including his secretary and his sapphicly inclined wife Eleanor.

In the middle of this is the visit of the anxious royal supplicants to the great President of the Republic. Europe is in crisis and the horrors of war loom. They have seen what happened during the dress rehearsal of the Spanish Civil War. To many Americans this is a remote affair in which they do not want to get involved. The British know that the Americans must get involved if Britain is to survive.

The king's stutter and FDR's polio features prominently but the thread through all the film is FDR's relationship with Daisy. To quote the film's postscript: "When Daisy died in her hundredth year a box of letters and diaries was found under her bed. Her special relationship with the President was, finally, no longer just their secret."

The royal visit is less central to the film than I expected. The depiction of the effects of FDR's polio was a surprise even though I already knew about it. Seeing the president being carried from place to place was an eye-opener. These were things never recorded by the contemporary press. I felt that the portrayal of Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother, was a little mean and I did not believe it. But I did believe that a politician who could charm a nation could easily have charmed Daisy and the others.

This is not a great film but it is a charming one. To watch it is a pleasant way to spend ninety minutes.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 April 2014
This is a gentle slow story which intertwines the special relationship of Daisy, a rather dowdy distant cousin of Franklin Roosevelt with the president and how she comes to manage the realisation that he has other 'special relationships' too. This all happens very slowly, and could have been covered in about 20 minutes.

The main event of the film is the visit to the USA of King George VI shortly before the outbreak of the second world war in the attempt to gain help for the upcoming war effort. The culture clash of the once mighty British Empire now rather supplicant to the new power of the United States is almost painful to watch at times, with Roosevelt, although broadly sympathetic, unable to resit a little fun at the royal family's expense - not least by introducing them to eating the least royal of delicacies - the hot dog.

Pleasant enough viewing- historically interesting about the development of the Special Relationship- but slow, slow
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on 28 September 2015
OK, it's quaint; will dispel certain notions you may have about this particular President; contains a quintessentially American understanding of the British monarchy; will provide respite from a rainy Sunday afternoon. Otherwise, relatively forgettable.
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on 16 June 2013
This is another one of those DVDs which I decided to purchase because of the actor names taking part - in particular the never-disappointing Olivia Colman. Sure enough, Colman didn't disappoint, or indeed did any of the excellent leads. This film seems to be the latest in a new format - taking a slim story (apparently FDR had a series of mistresses - interesting concept, since he was paralyzed from the waist down) )and using it to create a vehicle for big stars, which will then of course bring in the viewers. I think the main point was meant to be the impact that King George VI and Queen Elizabeth had on FDR and the American people at a crucial time of decision regarding the USA's involvement in WW2, but I felt it was very much overshadowed by the President's private life. No mention was made of the speech given by the Queen to the women of America, which I understood was pivotal at the time. Whether true or not, it made me feel a bit sad that this is the way Holywood has decided to remember America's greatest President.
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on 4 December 2014
The sad and sometimes poignant story of the many females associated with President Franklin D Roosevelt, his polio and the manner in which he overcame the problems associated with his high office. The Royal visit and the differences with the cultures, highlighted with the King consuming a hot-dog was an exceptional scene. Bill Murray and all the cast truly great.
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This is an unusual and remarkably private view of the life of FDR (Bill Murray). It is told mostly in first person from the view of Daisy (Laura Linney) his distant cousin and mistress. This story is based on her private letters and diaries discovered after her death. We have no reason to doubt them. As such the story is as much about her as it is FDR, a complex man whose multiple sides are now revealed to everyone. He was a nice philanderer.

The main point of plot interest is when the King and Queen of England come to America. England was headed for war with Germany and will desperately need our assistance. (Plot spoiler: We help the UK and win.) However they visit at a time when the President has mistress issues. They see him having to be carried from location to location. FDR has a way of charming, but at the same time humbling the monarchy. King Edward (Samuel West) was indeed remarkable and likeable.

There were several scenes I would stop and think. There is irony intricately laced within the dialouge of the scenes. I would find myself laughing at scenes after they had ended and I contemplated them for a moment.

The film whispers of old long debates of government vs. private sector, but stops short of making any overt statements. This is not your momma's fireside FDR.

It is a fascinating film for history buffs, and a bit of a chick film drama. I love how this film was intellectually crafted. Not for everyone. Laura Linney and Olivia Coleman (Queen Elizabeth) are Oscar nomination worthy.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs or nudity. There is a brief "hand gratification" early in the film.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is an unusual and remarkably private view of the life of FDR (Bill Murray). It is told mostly in first person from the view of Daisy (Laura Linney) his distant cousin and mistress. This story is based on her private letters and diaries discovered after her death. We have no reason to doubt them. As such the story is as much about her as it is FDR, a complex man whose multiple sides are now revealed to everyone. He was a nice philanderer.

The main point of plot interest is when the King and Queen of England come to America. England was headed for war with Germany and will desperately need our assistance. (Plot spoiler: We help the UK and win.) However they visit at a time when the President has mistress issues. They see him having to be carried from location to location. FDR has a way of charming, but at the same time humbling the monarchy. King Edward (Samuel West) was indeed remarkable and likeable.

There were several scenes I would stop and think. There is irony intricately laced within the dialouge of the scenes. I would find myself laughing at scenes after they had ended and I contemplated them for a moment.

The film whispers of old long debates of government vs. private sector, but stops short of making any overt statements. This is not your momma's fireside FDR.

It is a fascinating film for history buffs, and a bit of a chick film drama. I love how this film was intellectually crafted. Not for everyone. Laura Linney and Olivia Coleman (Queen Elizabeth) are Oscar nomination worthy.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs or nudity. There is a brief "hand gratification" early in the film.
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on 25 May 2014
This was billed in the UK as a film about the royals visiting the US in summer 1939 to persuade Roosevelt to support them in the coming war. In fact, it's more of a film about Roosevelt's dirty-old-man shenanigans with various female aides, particularly Laura Linney as his distant cousin Daisy. Charming in a way, with a not unintelligent script, but quite uneven and very oddly cast. Olivia Williams is a great actor but her accent as Eleanor Roosevelt is wobbly to say the least, while Olivia Colman and Sam West as the late Queen Mum and George VI bear no physical resemblance to them at all. That said, the best scenes are those of the bickering, nervous Windsors. Apparently the Roosevelt/Daisy affair only became public knowledge after her death, when her letters were discovered, but during the film her only journey is to accept that the President philandered and 'needed' his various women. They all learned to share. Ahh. Or yuk, depending on how you look at it. The post-script reads how Roosevelt kept his promise to the young king and joined the war at the beginning of 1942. Hmm. For most Europeans, the war began in 1939, but hey, what's a couple of years between those with a 'special relationship'? A harmless but mushy 85 minutes.
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