Hyde Park on Hudson (Focus Features) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Hyde Park on Hudson

Studio: Focus Features

Dec 07, 2012 Issue #43 - Animal Collective
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The pitch must have been simple enough: cast one of America’s greatest treasures as one of America’s greatest presidents. Bill Murray plays Franklin Delano Roosevelt in this mostly lighthearted film set just before the outbreak of World War II, when the first family played host to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at their upstate New York home. By showing the story through the eyes of FDR’s wide-eyed fifth cousin/third mistress, Margaret Suckley (Laura Linney), director Roger Michell gives us a private glimpse at one of our nation’s key figures of the last century.

The performances across the board are strong, but it’s Murray who’s most impressive. He plays Roosevelt with several sides: to his political advisors, he’s a wise but ailing leader; to the nervous, stuttering young king, a fatherly figure; to his women, a Don Draper-like cad. He’s so good that it’s easy to forget you’re watching the Caddyshack actor onscreen. The plot is light, mostly dealing with the hullabaloo surrounding a picnic with the British royals, but it’s nonetheless an entertaining little snapshot of the famous figures, with a few knowing winks to the audience, who are well aware of the dark times the coming years would bring. (www.focusfeatures.com)

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