Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hyde Park on Hudson

Daisy (Laura Linney) was once accustomed to upper class flourishes but has now been reduced to more modest means, like so many others during the years of the Depression. Now, when her fifth cousin and leader of the free world Franklin Delano Roosevelt requests her company and soon her companionship, the prudent young woman is taken aback, but soon develops feelings for him. When King George VI (Samuiel West) and the Queen Mother (Olivia Colman) make their historic visit (the first of a British monarch to the United States) to FDR's upstate residence, Daisy is in tow as the household led by Eleanor (Olivia Williams) make the preparations. "Hyde Park on Hudson" is a disappointing filmization of a slight, almost unworthy, and a little disconcerting story, directed by Roger Mitchell and written by Richard Nelson who drew upon Margaret Suckley's diaries, which were found after her death in 1991. Bill Murray does what he can and would have faired better with a more worthy script. The film also gives Laura Linney nothing to do (aside from the now infamous handjob scene) and is an insult to her talents. Also the presence of a stammering King George and his wife Elizabeth only invite memories of the far superior "The King's Speech." To its credit, the film does feature some nice pastoral imagery and a laconic, mood setting soundtrack. Unfortunately, not only is the story meager and somewhat creepy, it is also fairly derogatory as well. It's alternate tile should have been "How I Became FDR's Whore and Learned to Love It."