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 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 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: