Review: HYDE PARK ON HUDSON

By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4 (Out of 5 Reels)

I absolutely love period pieces and looked forward to seeing this film which is the story of the love affair between Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley (Laura Linney).  The entire film is centered on a weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of England visited FDR at his mother’s house in upstate New York.  The Royals are visiting to convince the United States to join the fight in World War II.

Bill Murray’s portrayal of FDR is surprisingly good but I believe Laura Linney steals the show with her reserved yet powerful performance as Margaret.   I wasn’t aware that FDR had an extra marital affair so this film was eye opening for me.  And, to think we only found out about this because after Margaret died a box of letters were found that detailed her entire relationship with FDR as well as others in his employ; fascinating. 

Another aspect of this film that reminds me just how far journalism has come, good or bad, is when FDR requests no photos be taken of him or his guests at certain times and they actually listen to him something that I believe would not happen today.  FDR did not want the world to see his illness and therefore banned any photography of his need for help to get around because he couldn’t walk. 

On the technical aspect side of this film I have nothing bad to say because it is done well.  Everything from the costumes to the cars is spot on period and fits well with the storyline.  Overall this film is a fascinating glimpse into the life of FDR prior to the United States joining into World War II.  As good as this film is I still would not pay full price for a ticket but wait until it comes out on DVD.

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