Hyde Park on Hudson Reviews
Have you ever heard of a movie getting trampled by bad reviews and then wondered how it could ever be that bad when it apparently has everything going for it? And then watched it only to find out that yes it is that bad? Well, for me, that movie is "Hyde Park on Hudson" which contains lots of lovely period detail and technically fine performances but outside of Olivia Williams as Eleanor Roosevelt, all of this is as lively as the average wax museum.(When are we getting that Eleanor Roosevelt biopic anyway?) Plus, there is the repetitive and unnecessary narration and a point of view that is superfluous at best which admittedly does point out that British American relations were a little rough in the years before PBS.
The acting stood out for me as especially superb. I honestly didn't know that Bill Murray had the ability to make an audience forget his true identity. He must have studied F.D.R.'s mannerisms for ages, so complete was the transformation. He was at once licentious, candid, conversational, needy, and a little creepy. I hadn't known much about Roosevelt coming into the film, and so I was riveted. I found the casting of King George VI refreshing; although Olivia Colman's was surely a bit shrill and frantic for the lovely Queen Mum. Did she just mellow gracefully into a serene old woman? Or was her panicked anxiety merely a film device?
In any event, I deem the other reviews a bit unfair. Bill Murray should look back on this one as one of his finer achievements.