Wednesday, January 30, 2013

“Hyde Park on Hudson”

Hyde Park is in Dutchess County, New York where my family and I lived for quite a few years and where my daughter and her husband have their business now. So it was with anticipation that I went to see the movie “Hyde Park on Hudson” this week.

I had a hard time envisioning Bill Murray as Franklin D. Roosevelt but was surprised and very impressed with his portrayal of our 32nd president.

In a nutshell the film is based on the romantic memories of Margaret Suckley of Rhinebeck who was 99 when she passed away in 1991. Her letters and diaries came to light then and, supposedly, were the inspiration for this movie. We sympathize with her as she discovers that she is not the one true love of FDR (as she believed) but is, in truth, one of many.

This all comes to light in 1939 when King George VI of England and his wife spend the weekend at the country estate of the Roosevelts in Hyde Park, New York, overlooking the Hudson River. Their visit was in hopes that it would bolster American support for the United Kingdom on the eve of World War II.

My favorite scene in the movie is when FDR and the King cloister themselves in his study and speak candidly to each other. I was touched by the president’s kindness toward the “stuttering” King and the depth of understanding that evolved between them. It allowed me to put aside my annoyance with FDR and his life style and to concentrate and admire his brilliance as a politician.

The entire cast was spot on but I thought that Olivia Williams as the young Eleanor Roosevelt was perfect
I have no idea how many historical liberties were taken in the guise of artistic justice … I suspect there were some … but it was still a most delightful film in my estimation.

10 Comments:

Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks Ginnie for the commentary on this film and I too would have trouble seeing Bill Murray as FDR but that's the magic of the movies.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Thanks for the review. I was originally intrigued but was also skeptical about Mr. Murray being able to carry it off. I will head for Netflix now to save it. Sadly my nearest theater is a three hour round trip.

2:50 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Thanks, Ginnie--for reviewing a movie I have not gotten to see.
FDR is one of those instantly recognizable historical figures--and actors portraying him have quite a lot of FDR's mannerisms to tap into. I would imagine that Bill Murray is a natural mimic, and thus picks up on the mannerisms of FDR.
Isn't it amazing how women fall for these larger than life world figures, and then the women think themselves the only love in that powerful man's life. We read similar stories of the many women around JFK.

5:30 AM  
OpenID Big John said...

I had not heard of this movie before Ginnie, but now look forward to seeing it. I just hope that is better than the over-hyped 'King's Speech'.

6:39 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I am both disgusted and fascinated by FDR. I read the two-volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. What a woman she was! I'll look forward to seeing the movie.

7:51 AM  
OpenID schmidleysscribblins.com said...

I like Olivia Williams very much. I have seen her portrayed as
1/ Jane Austin's sister (I think?);
2/ in the Gwenneth Paltrow version of Emma?
3/Was she Bruce Willis' wife in Sixth Sense? Or am I mixing her up with the gal who looks like her twin sister. Gosh.

Gotta check this movie out eventually. I just got Doris Kearns Godwin's book on FDR. Enjoying her book on Lincoln very much. Dianne

11:20 AM  
Blogger possum said...

I will try to get it when it is available... I think. The Roosevelts are actually cousins - distant cousins, and not something I brag about, but it does make it more interesting. I thought a lot of Eleanor... not so her husband. And the more I learn the more I struggle with respecting him.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Never heard of it before, but it sounds interesting.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Sounds like a good one, Ginnie. Bill Murray lives in the area where he has a beach house.

5:25 PM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

Interesting. Margaret S was a distant cousin. Eleanor the daughter of Teddy Roosevelts brother.

4:19 PM  

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