Humour in a historic moment

Humour in a historic moment


Hyde Park Movie_L
Photo: Golden Scene Co. Ltd
In the summer of 1939, as Britain faced imminent war with Germany, the British king (Samuel West) and queen (Olivia Colman) made an unprecedented visit to the US to seek support from President Franklin Roosevelt (Bill Murray) at his ancestral home - and the film's title Hyde Park on Hudson.

What complicated this historic moment was Roosevelt's growing fondness for his distant cousin Daisy Suckley (Laura Linney), who was asked to help with his wandering mind and calm him.

The timid Suckley is an odd choice as narrator, as she is neither an interesting character nor a person of much historical significance.

Although Murray has the charm and gravitas of the manipulative Roosevelt, his lively performance does not offset the mundane screenwriting by Richard Nelson.

Scenes featuring the uptight monarchs are mostly comedic - the queen's obsession with Roosevelt's intention to serve them hot dogs at a picnic is a highlight. But despite the historical significance of the visit, there is limited political reflection throughout the film.

It also makes little mention of the Great Depression and spread of Nazism - matters that preoccupied Roosevelt at the time. Sadly Hyde Park is no more than a pleasant yet trivial footnote.

YP Rating: 3/5

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