Jack Goes Confidential: Bill Murray Humanizes F.D.R. In ‘Hyde Park On Hudson’

mfwq54-mfwpnthydeVanity Fair raves that “Bill Murray gives a truly presidential performance” in HYDE PARK ON HUDSON

I agree. Only problem is, it overshadows the rest of the movie which seems to lose its focus and direction.

The setting is 1939 as our 32nd president Franklin Delano Roosevelt and First Lady Elenor (Olivia Williams) host the visiting king and queen of England for a weekend to reaffirm their alliance. The Brits obviously are in desperate need of support with an imminent war with Germany staring them in the face.

But despite his physical handicaps, Roosevelt never seems to allow the prevent him from enjoying the fruits of life as his relationship with Elenor was purely platonic and strictly for show.

A most unorthodox marriage for its era (Kennedy and Clinton must have taken pointers).

bill-murray-fdr3Roosevelt was particularly smitten by his distant cousin Margaret Suckley—Daisy for short, as played by Laura Linney.

It makes for quite a relationship as the President would drive his specially equipped convertible into the country with Daisy at his side and ditching the security squad along the way.

Inviting and guiding Daisy’s hand into the presidential lap for a round of open air stimulation may stop some viewers in their tracks. But hey, it was a great mental de-stresser for F.D.R.

Add Roosevelt’s dry humor and wit and we get a fairly clear picture of a most unorthodox presidency. Bill Murray should pick up an Oscar nomination for his fine portrayal.

What I found most fascinating in this presidential depiction is the fact that the press (i.e. newspapers, magazines, photographers and newsreels) never showed, mentioned or discussed Roosevelt’s affliction. No crutches. No being physically carried out of a situation. No wheelchairs. All were no-no’s and the media played by the rules in those days.

80691_002Try getting away with that today…..

It makes for quite a weekend; the President, the First Lady, the King, the Queen…..and the Mistress.

After cocktails, of course!

HYDE PARK ON HUDSON is new this weekend in limited Kansas City runs raising 3 out of 5 presidential fingers.

JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES: On Radio / On Cable-TV / On-Line.

This entry was posted in Jack Poessiger. Bookmark the permalink.