Friday, 1 February 2013

Hyde Park On The Hudson (2012)

In 1939 and at a point when relations with the US could not be any worse, the King and Queen of the UK head to Hudson to meet with Roosevelt and beg his help to win the war.  The visit is underpinned by a very special relationship that begins between FDR (Bill Murray) and his niece Daisy (Laura Linney).

Hyde Park On The Hudson has a very old world feel about it in its storytelling, it’s nothing to do with it’s periodic setting, it’s to do with the screenwriting and the direction. This is not a criticism; the trouble with movies moving forward is that they loose something from the past, and Hyde Park On The Hudson gives something back to the viewer.  The layers of the story are nicely pieced together, the relationship between FDR and others, the King and Queen how they see the Americans and their fear of “Hot Dogs”.  With the element of two sexual references excluded this is very much the sort of movie to watch on a Sunday afternoon.

Bill Murray continues to cement his career as a quality performer, he still gets to play the funny man, but he also gets to show a lot more as he did in Lost In Translation.  Much reference is made to his libido during the movie, a man who can hardly walk has an incredibly active sex life, and Murray really delivers this, there is that chemistry in his personality that shows how women could be attracted to him, while at the same time the vulnerability of a man who depends on others to do so much for him, in short Bill Murray is FDR.

Most of the humour comes from Peepshow’s Olivia Colman who as Queen Elizabeth seems utterly appalled by everything she discovers on her first visit to the New World. The frequent fears of the hot dog, really gets the audiences mind going is she expecting a sausage in a bun, or is she literally expecting to eat dog?

Quick on the heels of The Kings Speech, you cannot help but almost classify this as a sequel (with a different cast of course). Hyde Park On The Hudson is a timeless tale, its moving, funny, strangely innocent, and highly entertaining.

Hyde Park On The Hudson is in UK cinemas today.  

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