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