I was hoping it would be good. It's a completely serious role, for those of you who haven't heard about it. Laura Linney plays his secretary/piece on the side. It's gotten terrible reviews on every site I've seen.
Who would have ever thought of Bill Murray as FDR? Well, the filmmakers behind Hyde Park did, and their vision, if you want to call it that, works. Murray has a grand old time portraying the country’s 32nd president. His casting isn’t the only pleasure. The light dramatic tone director Roger Michell takes, coupled with screenwriter Richard Nelson’s dialogue, makes it all work.
Set just before World War II, the setting is the president’s country home. It is there that FDR (Murray) gets away from it all, or mostly just gets away. The home (his mother’s) is a place most would consider a place of rest, but it’s rife with activity, and a diversion from Washington. Returning to Hyde Park, FDR requests that his sixth cousin, Margaret Suckley (Laura Linney), a single woman in her late 40s who cares for her mother, come to Hyde Park for a visit. She is at first surprised considering she hasn’t seen him in years. But she goes and after a bit of skittishness realizes that she has been asked to come to help him take away the weight of the world. They soon are enjoying each other’s company – yes, having an affair. There are many days when the two simply talk, others when they go for a drive. Everyone in the house accepts her, though just how much the servants know is open to debate. Even FDR’s mother doesn’t seem to mind, nor does his secretary, Marguerite LeHand (Elizabeth Marvel).
The usually quiet country home is anything but tranquil when Britain’s King George (Samuel West) and his wife, Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman), come for a visit. Their purpose is to get some assurance that if an impending war does come, the United States will help Britain.
There will be some who will look at Hyde Park and say it is a light, superficial view of FDR and the liaisons that he had. Nothing in the film would make an audience think otherwise, and while this film is a look into the relationship the president had with Margaret, the meatiest part is his interaction with King George. There is a long scene that takes place after an evening dinner when King George pushes FDR into his study. FDR, immediately sensing George’s frustration and uncertainty, suggests a drink and then clinically talks to him about the physical challenges posed by his polio, which robbed him of the use of his legs. George listens intently, himself challenged by his stutter. FDR’s candid demeanor gives George the chance to open up. The scene is so well acted that there is a strong feeling that indeed it is a glimpse into just how skilled a politician FDR could be.
bill kind of gave hollywood the big fuck you since day one & picked his projects that he wanted to do, money be damned usually...only did ghostbusters so he could get the deal to do razors edge..no manager or publicist just his own phone which he doesnt answer often. dances to his own drummer.