Watch Hyde Park on Hudson
Hyde Park on Hudson is a 2012 film based on the true story of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's intimate relationship with his distant cousin, Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, during a time when the world was on the brink of war. The movie touches on themes of family, love, politics, and war, while exploring the complexities of human relationships.
Bill Murray stars as President Roosevelt, who invites Daisy (Laura Linney) to his country estate in Hyde Park, New York, in the summer of 1939. Daisy is initially unsure of why she has been summoned by the President, but soon learns that he wants her to help him relax and ease his physical and emotional pain. As the two become closer, their relationship becomes increasingly complicated, as they struggle with their feelings for one another in the shadow of the President's wife, Eleanor (Olivia Williams).
As the weeks go by, the President's estate becomes a hub of activity, as he entertains his political allies and foreign dignitaries. The President's main objective early on is to impress the King and Queen of England, who are due to visit him at Hyde Park. The visit proves to be a catalyst for many of the relationships within the film, as the President's family and staff members jostle for position and influence.
The main plotline of the film is the relationship between the President and Daisy, which is portrayed with a light touch, and with the help of Murray's natural charm. Murray's performance as the President has a twinkle in his eye, and his roguish behavior and off-colour humor help to humanize a figure often portrayed with somber gravitas. The President's relationship with Daisy is both touching and poignant, as they navigate their feelings for one another in a way that is both tender and bittersweet.
Linney's performance as Daisy is also noteworthy, as her character is painted as a shy and vulnerable woman who is drawn to the power and charisma of the President. Linney embodies the role of Daisy with a gentle grace, as she struggles with the idea of hurting the President's wife, while also yearning for his affection.
The film's supporting cast is also very strong, with a standout performance from Olivia Williams as Eleanor Roosevelt. Williams captures Eleanor's icy demeanor and powerful presence, while also conveying her softer side in her scenes with Linney. Samuel West and Olivia Colman provide excellent support as the King and Queen of England, as they try to navigate the awkwardness of the President's family and staff.
One of the film's main strengths is its portrayal of the period setting, with the use of period costumes and production design lending the film an authentic feel. Cinematographer Lol Crawley deserves praise for the film's beautiful visuals, which capture the natural beauty of the estate and the surrounding countryside.
Overall, Hyde Park on Hudson is an enjoyable and moving film, which offers a glimpse into the complex personal relationships of one of the most powerful and iconic figures in American history. The performances are uniformly excellent, with Bill Murray in particular delivering a standout turn as the charismatic and complicated President Roosevelt. While the film may not delve too deeply into the politics of the time, it succeeds in showing Roosevelt as a multifaceted character, who struggled with his own personal demons while trying to steer a nation through a tumultuous time.
Hyde Park on Hudson is a 2012 comedy. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9 and a MetaScore of 55.