By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 7, 2012 at 1:27PM
"Hyde Park On Hudson depicts Roosevelt as a boozy adulterer, but it nevertheless tilts heavily towards hagiography. Like the women who loved and revered him, the film forgives Roosevelt’s transgressions all too easily when it would be better off holding him accountable for the complicated, sometimes painful consequences of his actions."
But the film would remain just a bonbon or a mildly diverting lark were it not for its moving central section,..A revelatory exchange between men of comparable global stature but glaringly different experience and character, the whole episode is beautifully written, directed and performed."
An unseemly look at the private life of one of America's most revered commanders-in-chief is framed through the royal visit that cemented the United States' alliance with Britain in "Hyde Park on Hudson." Elevated somewhat by the stunt casting of Bill Murray as FDR, this frequently tacky tell-all amplifies one aspect of "The King's Speech's" appeal -- and serves as an encore of sorts for stuttering King "Bertie" -- by revealing celebrated world leaders to be as insecure and flawed as the rest of us. But Roger Michell's treatment shares none of "King's Speech's" overcoming-adversity triumph.
Had the picture focused on the Daisy/Franklin relationship with more thought, perhaps 'Hyde Park' would bear more weight. But Michell is clearly more interested in entertaining and pleasing his audience, creating a middle-of-the road dramedy that possesses a few somber notes and the occasional comic tickle, but nothing tremendously effective in either aim.
Don't waste your time on Hyde Park on Hudson. Watch these other Bill Murray clips instead. (Link here.)