Hyde Park on Hudson (2012) Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman Movie Review

Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Laura Linney and Bill Murray in Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

Flaws of the Flawed

In the spring of 1939 Margaret Suckley (Laura Linley) finds herself being called upon to spend some time with her fifth cousin, the President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray) who needs some company to help take his mind of things. As time passes they become more than just friends as a romantic relationship forms with Margaret often going to his retreat at Hyde Park. When the King and Queen of Britain pay Roosevelt a visit in 1939 Margaret finds herself in the unusual situation of meeting them.

Trying to think who might be the ideal audience for "Hyde Park on Hudson" would be and all I can say is that maybe political historians might find this entertaining but I am not entirely sure. In fact I do genuinely wonder if there is an audience for this movie as it touches various bases but seems unsure which area it wants to favour. And it is a shame as "Hyde Park on Hudson" is a nicely made movie with some nice performances and a great look with certainly a sense of style to it.

But as I said "Hyde Park on Hudson" kind of spreads itself too thinly and is unsure exactly what it is. As such on one hand we get Margaret's views on the situation and her feelings for her cousin, which gives this a genuine air of romance. But then you get some comedy starting with the British royals portrayed almost as if they were caricatures, pompous fools who look down their noses at Americans. And on top of that we get the perverse comedy of this situation as we have a house where Roosevelt has his wife, his cousin his lover as well as his mum. It is simply rather curious yet also kind of charming as we see friendships form as awkwardness is pushed to one side.

What this all boils down to is that "Hyde Park on Hudson" certainly has its moments, scenes where it hits a sweet spot. But for the most this movie seems unsure of what it wants to be whether just a drama, a romantic drama or a movie which embrace the humour of people no matter who they are.