10 April 2013

Time for another Movie Review

Aftter attending the funeral of a very dear friend this afternoon, a very sad occasion, we needed some cheering up, so the Blogger and I went to the movies to see

Hyde Park on Hudson

One of our regular readers and good friend Ann requested a review of this movie, so here for Ann it is:

We had seen the trailer and the gist of the story, the King and Queen of England visiting the American President for a strange weekend tickled my fancy. The film could easily be subtitled 'Franklin and his Mistresses'.  Franklin D Roosevelt (Bill Murray), may have been in a wheelchair, but according to this movie, that didn't stop him from having a several mistresses on the side, one of which, his cousin, Daisy Suckley (Laura Linney), is one of the main subjects in this film. Franklin invites cousin Daisy to visit him at his mother's house at Hyde Park on Hudson, where he lives, after Eleanor moved out to live with her female friends somewhere else. Franklin frequently takes Daisy for drives in the countryside, where on one of those trips, they become 'very good friends.'

Bill Murray and Laura Linney as Franklin D Roosevelt and cousin Daisy
The main theme, however is the visit of King George VI (Samuel West) and Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman, one of my favourite British actresses). West portrays the King, complete with stammer, very well.

The occasion of the Royal visit is twofold. No King or Queen had ever visited the United States of America, and with another war looming, the King had been sent by the politicians in England to enlist the possible help of the Americans, should war indeed outbreak.
The President and his household meet the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England
The matron of the house, Franklin's mother (Elizabeth Wilson), who rules the house, realises that they haven't got enough dinner plates for the planned banquet and asks one of her rich neighbours to lend their dinner set.

The difference in background of the English visitors and the President's family and staff are soon obvious which lead to humerous interludes, especially when they all try to conform to each other's ettiquertte and when, during the dinner several accidents occur including the demolition of the rich neighbour's dinner set.

When, the day after the banquette, there is a picnic planned where hot dogs are on the menu, the King and Queen, not sure what a 'hot dog' is, first take it as an insult, but realise they must be nice to the President if they want to enlist his help.

However the picnic goes off well and the Royal couple are happy to eat the hot dogs which puts them in good stead with the Americans.

It's also on this weekend, where Daisy finds out that she is not the only mistress to share Franlin's affections. She storms off in a huff but eventually forgives him, becomes good friends with some of the other mistresses and they live happily ever after as the saying goes.

The film was written by Richard Nelson, who was inspired by the story of Daisy Suckley, after reading a posthumously collection of her letters and diaries. The film was brilliantly directed by Roger Michell.

Go see it now.

Here is the film's trailer, if you're interested:

There you are, Ann just for you!


  1. The film sounds excellent, but I am so sorry to hear about your friend, my heartfelt condolences.

  2. Hi Bill,

    I must congratulate you on a great film review. I also enjoyed the film but
    have only now realised that I may have missed several opportunities in my
    younger days. I was aware of the "come up and see my etchings" and didn't
    accept, but because I wasn't too interested in stamps I didn't pick up on
    that "pick-up" line. Back to the film though, I thought that Bill Murray
    played a brilliant part, as did the Queen and Bertie.

  3. Great review!

    I watched the movie and enjoyed it thoroughly. Bill Murray plays FDR with bravura, and a charming twinkle in the eye.
    A great movie to watch on the big screen, so anyone who has not seen it yet, hurry to get to the movie house before they take it of the screens!

    (who is lucky that Vienna has several cinemas that show movies in the original language)

    1. Sorry, I meant to type "off" the big screen.

      Also, my heartfelt condolences on the loss of a dear friend,

    2. Thank you Merisi, I'm glad you like the review.

  4. Would LOVE to see this - have just read the biography of the Roosevelts which was very interesting for someone like me with absolutely NO knowledge of US history.

    1. I wonder if FDR's affairs were mentioned in the biography you read. It might be a trait of the American Presidents, having difficulties keeping their pants zipped up.

  5. I seldom go to the cinema, but this film seems to be hilarious ! That's exactly what I need ! I have to check if it came out in Brussels, because they usually take some time to make the French/Flemish subtitles or synchronize the whole movie which usually is awful ! I prefer the original version, but lots of people don't know enough English !

  6. I really enjoyed the movie even though the habit of having mistresses sickens me.

  7. Loved the review, Bill. Had almost decided not to see this film. After reading your review, we went and enjoyed a pleasant couple of hours (on a pretty ordinary day, weather-wise) looking at fabulous scenery and enjoying an entertaining enough 'plot'.


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