Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Movies: Hyde Park On Hudson

Franklin D. Roosevelt shaped global history. But the 32nd President of the United States also had an interesting private life, albeit less known. This is the topic of the movie "Hyde Park on Hudson", which is now running in some US cinemas (imdb). The politician operated a kind of harem - more or less stealth. Besides his wife, Eleanor, he had at least 3 mistresses who were camouflaged as secretaries or assistants.

The film covers just a short episode in the life of FDR: The (first) visit of the King and Queen of England at the beginning of World War II who wanted to coax the US into the fight against Germany. The story is told from the perspective of one of Roosevelt´s lovers, the cousin Daisy.

The center of the flick is Bill Murray as FDR. His Roosevelt radiates a lot of wisdom - almost like a Buddha and puts all the other actors into a deep shadow, including Laura Linney as the president`s challenged mistress.

Don´t expect something juicy or erotic. In spite of Roosevelt´s personal relationships "Hyde Park" is a prudish but romantic comedy with a lot of nostalgia. The movie had just one location: FDR´s (and his mother`s) estate "Hyde Park" in the State of New York which gave the movie the name.  In a world of depression and war this quiet and green location seems like a place on an alien planet. "Hyde Park on Hudson" is a charming movie and fits well into the Christmas holidays.

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