By Liz López
Today with all the technology available in the world, there is very little that is private for many people, especially if the individual is in the public eye the majority of his life. We have learned about things celebrities have done, such as Lindsey Lohan and Marilyn Monroe, aside from politicians around the world who have had affairs and I do not have to mention names here. Although Hyde Park on Hudson is not a documentary, now the world will learn more about the intimate and real world of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) who served as U. S. President from March 4th, 1933 – April 12th, 1945. Roger Michell directs the well written script by Richard Nelson about this iconic leader and I enjoyed how the screenwriter utilized the mixture of humor and drama to develop the story intelligently and without focusing solely on what is considered scandalous.
Bill Murray gives a great performance as the president who survived polio, giving his role a dose of humor where appropriate, while showing the viewer the more human side of this country’s leader during the time of the Great Depression. Recently, Murray was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical and we shall see if he is victorious in the coming weeks. He merits the nomination. Laura Linney is cast as Daisy, a neighbor who is a distant cousin to FDR, who is invited by the president to visit the family home, while the First Lady Eleanor (Olivia Williams), his mother, Sara (Elizabeth Wilson) and secretary Missy (Elizabeth Marvel) were present or in close proximity. Before long, the frequent visits and more individualized attention she receives from FDR leads to her falling profoundly in love with him. Linney also turns in a great performance of this character that completely develops skills as an informal assistant. The entire cast work well together to carry this piece of history with grace and humor, making for an entertaining time in the theater.
In June 1939, FDR prepared to receive the King and Queen of England (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) for a weekend visit to the Roosevelt country home, Hyde Park on Hudson in New York, which is the first visit for them to the U. S. It becomes an unforgettable and important few days for all and it is through Daisy’s eyes and experiences documented in letters and found after her death, that this story and history comes to life.
Hyde Park on Hudson opens in Austin theaters on December 21st and is one entertaining film I recommend viewing.