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Hyde Park On Hudson

One weekend would unite two great nations...After cocktails of course.

Few American presidents bore witness to as much historic trauma – or as much history, period – as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The only U.S. president to hold office for three consecutive terms, FDR helped the country weather the Great Depression with the New Deal, and led it unswervingly through the maelstrom of the Second World War. For her part, legendary First Lady Eleanor weathered, among other things, FDR’s many affairs, which he carried on with alacrity despite being confined to a wheelchair. Witty, wise and scurrilously entertaining, Roger Michell’s Hyde Park On Hudson details one of the last pre-war weekends in 1939, when King George VI and Queen Consort Elizabeth of England (they of The King’s Speech) came calling on the president at his upstate New York manor house – and when the president started to become especially close to his distant cousin Margaret ‘Daisy’ Suckley. The royal couple’s sojourn to Hyde Park On Hudson marks the first time that the British monarchy has ever made an official visit to the United States. With the clouds of war on the horizon, it is in everyone’s interests to fortify relations between the soon-to-be allied nations. The film playfully depicts the recurring spasms of culture shock (hot dogs on the barbecue proving an especial source of horror for the royals) that helped distract prying eyes away from the blossoming love between Daisy (Laura Linney) and FDR (Bill Murray). Meaningful silences, the proud display of a stamp collection, a tryst in a car – stolen moments accumulate as affinity becomes affection becomes an affair, while the chaos brewing on the European continent seems far, far away. Well served by Richard Nelson’s screenplay and Michell’s sensitive, assured direction, Linney is marvelous as Daisy, both outsider and confidant, an erotic object and the soul of discretion. But the film’s biggest revelation is Murray, who does not suppress his inimitable persona so much as channel it into a remarkable evocation of this larger-than-life figure. The deadpan humour and sideways charm remain, but Murray holds himself differently, uncannily suggests Roosevelt’s unique, almost Cary Grant-like cadence, and gives the impression of a man bearing great responsibility with beguiling grace. – Toronto International Film FestivalOfficial Trailer
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Directed by: 
Roger Michell
Running Time: 
Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams, Olivia Colman, Samuel West
Screenplay by: 
Richard Nelson

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