Hyde Park on Hudson

"Am I doing it right?"
“Am I doing it right?”

Daisy (Laura Linney) is a distant poor relation of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray). She’s summoned by FDR’s fearsome mother to his private residence in Hyde Park, upstate New York to provide peaceful company. He starts driving Miss Daisy to isolated rural spots and before you know it, they’re “very special friends”, despite the fact he’s married. Yes, FDR liked the ladies. His polio-affected legs couldn’t support his weight, but apparently if you laid him face-down on the floor, you could spin him like a top.

Daisy is present for the 1939 visit to Hyde Park by K-K-K-King George VI (Samuel West, excellent) and Elizabeth, unofficially lobbying for American support in the upcoming war. This and the domestic tensions their visit creates provide the film’s main interest, because Daisy is as dull as dishwater: a bit player in history, only remembered for spreading mustard on the King’s hotdog (not a euphemism). Historically and geographically inaccurate (it’s shot in the UK), but saved by a good cast and some amusing scenes. 6/10

Release March 28, 2013.


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