Set in 1939, Hyde Park on Hudson stars Bill Murray as US president Franklin D. Roosevelt, Laura Linney as his niece and our very own Olivia “I’m in everything on TV” Colman as the Queen. This film has two strands 1) the pervy relationship FDR had with his much younger niece, Daisy [shudder] and 2) the King and Queen visiting the US in order to seek support over WWII.
This is an extremely flimsy, lightweight and unfortunately totally pointless offering. There may well have been some substance to the true story of the King’s visit with FDR, but if there was, it isn’t at all apparent here. Instead of examining the relationship between the US and UK, and the purported importance of the event at the heart of this film, we’re treated to a series of scenarios whereby the modern, informal Americans are in turn baffled by, amused by and incredulous of the stuffy, old-fashioned royals. After a while, this becomes very tiresome.
Murray puts in a good enough performance, and Olivia Colman is quite good fun as the Queen who can’t quite grasp the way things work so far from home. Linney on the other hand gets far too much screen time and manages to make FDR’s cousin and love interest comes across as being both uncomfortable, and quite smug. My main problem with this film though, is that nothing much really happens and I was left wondering why we needed to hear this story in the first place. Hyde Park on Hudson is a rather dull waste of an evening.