"Hyde Park on Hudson"
A 2012 British biographical comedy-drama film directed by Roger Michell.
In June 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth made a visit to Hyde Park, New York, the country estate of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's mother. No British monarch had ever visited the United States before, and both the King and FDR hoped to bolster American support for the United Kingdom on the eve of World War II, which broke out less than three months later.
Bill Murray as Franklin D. Roosevelt
Laura Linney as Margaret Suckley
Samuel West as King George VI
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth
Elizabeth Marvel as Marguerite LeHan
Olivia Williams as Eleanor Roosevelt
Elizabeth Wilson as Sara Delano
Martin McDougall as Thomas Gardiner Corcoran
Andrew Havill as James Cameron
Royal Library [book] thread
Hot Dogs and Cocktails - When FDR met King George VI at Hyde Park on Hudson
Huffington Post review
The British have long surpassed the U.S. at making movies and TV series that act as living history lessons about their country's past, its important figures and its pivotal moments. So in a way, it makes sense that the film Hyde Park On Hudson
was directed and produced by Brits, despite the fact that it's about one of America's most celebrated presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his intimate relationship with his 5th cousin Daisy and the King and Queen of England's historic visit to FDR's mother's house in upstate New York in 1939, a visit that forged the "special relationship" between America and Britain and marked America's entrance into World War II.
The film largely revolves around the weekend visit by the King and Queen of England to Hyde Park, the first time a reigning British monarch had visited the U.S., in June of 1939 when England was about to go to war with Germany and was desperate for American support. That king happened to be King George VI,, or Bertie, the stuttering king who was the subject of The King's Speech
, which won the 2011 Best Picture Oscar. Samuel West plays Bertie with Olivia Colman playing Queen Elizabeth, and their sizable roles make Hyde Park On Hudson
more of an ensemble piece as the two of them struggle to make sense of their hosts and the perceived meaning of gestures like having the royals eat hot dogs at an informal picnic. The film's decidedly strong cast is rounded out by Olivia Williams as Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Wilson as FDR's mother, and Elizabeth Marvel as FDR's longtime private secretary Missy, who was rumored to be one of FDR's mistresses.
In addition to having two of the same characters and taking place during the same time period, Hyde Park On Hudson
reminded me of The King's Speech
in a lot of ways. Both are surprisingly funny, beautifully realized, wonderfully acted films that examine the human side and the intimate relationships of great leaders. Both films are also very much about the importance of appearances, as FDR (aided by the media) hid the effects of his polio from the public while Bertie tried to project strength and confidence in the face of possible annihilation despite his stutter and the fact that his country wanted his brother as king. This theme continues through the perceptions of FDR's unusual relationship with his wife and the affairs it hid, Daisy's ability and sometimes inability to understand the man behind the presidency, and the way the royals' visit affected how they and England were perceived by average Americans, which again came down to those famous picnic wieners.
...I saw this movie twice and both times the audiences laughed hard and seemed thoroughly charmed by this lovingly made slice of dramatized history. It's not a biopic nor is it a dense procedural like Steven Spielberg's Lincoln
, but instead showcases the politics of perception and interpersonal relationships, contrasted with quieter, more intimate moments away from the media and others.
Reproduced for promotional purposes