Film review: Hyde Park on Hudson

Oh, how wonderful it must have been. In 1939, while the Depression is still in full swing across the 48 states and World War II is about to break out, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is a model of tranquility at his country estate in Hyde Park, New York. He sits alone in his study, drinking tea and leisurely smoking a cigarette, before welcoming his fifth cousin, Margaret (Laura Linney), to show her his collection of postage stamps.

Daisy, as the family calls her, is timid and feels a little awkward as this meeting was arranged by FDR’s mother, but, in the presence of this charismatic president, already halfway through his second term, she is also glad to be of service by keeping him company. This activity quickly became a bit more intimate than she had expected, as she discovers on an afternoon drive when FDR holds her hand in the car before moving it to his crotch.

Hyde Park on Hudson is the second big film of the year to deal with a US president, after Lincoln, the widely discussed portrait of the man who ended slavery. Unfortunately, Hyde Park on Hudson thinks it proper to approach this towering figure – the only president to have been elected to more than two terms – through comedy and a scandal that is utterly family-friendly viewing, rather than thorough investigation.

Read the full story at The Prague Post.

(Still of Bill Murray in Hyde Park on Hudson. Photo by Nicola Dove – © 2012 – Focus Features via