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Movie review: 'Hyde Park on Hudson'

Bill Murray makes for an unlikely President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in ‘Hyde Park on Hudson'
by Matthew Price Published: January 4, 2013

/articleid/3742721/1/pictures/1920327">Photo - Bill Murray as Franklin D. Roosevelt in a scene from “Hyde Park on Hudson.”  AP Photo/Focus Features
Bill Murray as Franklin D. Roosevelt in a scene from “Hyde Park on Hudson.” AP Photo/Focus Features

Ultimately, Margaret has to come to terms with her actual place in the president's life, while the aftermath of the meeting between the king and president is left for the notes at the film's conclusion.

The wives of both of the powerful men are given little space, but both performances are well-done; Olivia Williams plays Eleanor Roosevelt, while Olivia Colman is Queen Elizabeth.

The screenplay never quite convinces us of the importance of the events; meanwhile Murray, though nicely underplaying FDR, never manages to quite make the audience forget he's Bill Murray.

Rather than the charismatic leader with nothing to fear but fear itself, Murray's FDR is portrayed more as an old letch with a demanding job. Maybe the movie's trying to make a point about perceptions and realities, but it doesn't hit the point enough to get it home.

There are some nice moments in what is ultimately a meandering film, as “Hyde Park on Hudson” doesn't do its principal characters the justice of a fully-fledged portrait.

— Matthew Price

by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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