Hyde Park on Hudson: New York Film Festival 2012



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New York Film Festival 2012: Hyde Park on Hudson

New York Film Festival 2012: Hyde Park on Hudson

Bill Murray softens into a paternal, gently flirtatious FDR in this weight-free bit of historical drama, set during a not-very-eventful 1939 reception for the uncertain King George VI (the stammerer) and Queen Consort Elizabeth. It’s not that Murray isn’t likable, or that the movie doesn’t chug along pleasantly; but you never feel that it has a burning sense of purpose. In films like Rushmore and Lost in Translation, the ex-SNL giant shaded his comedic persona with a complex tinge of forlorn cynicism—does he really need to now tip his head back and chomp on a cigarette holder to earn an Oscar? (What he does in other dramas is harder.) Laura Linney fritters away on the sidelines as a paramour wilting under the President’s fickle attentions. Her story is hardly richer than one that climaxes in a hot-dog-eating photo op, one that—according to the script’s heavy lifting—birthed the “special relationship.”—Joshua Rothkopf

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