Though ostensibly about Margaret’s women’s-lib-lite awakening to her famous family member’s harmful passions, the movie is more interested in harvesting comic hay from the real-life meeting of a statesman and a sovereign. King George’s perpetual stutter is a drolly exploited plot point, as in 2010’s awards-sweeping The King’s Speech, as well as the pathos-ridden focus of the film’s best scene, in which FDR boosts the monarch’s confidence with a homespun story over cigars. Meanwhile, Queen Liz’s oh-dear-me facial expressions allow for plenty of humorously punctuating cutaways, and the fate of the free world hilariously rests, in the film’s telling, on the success of a climactic wiener roast. (This is one phallus-obsessed flick.) The whole cast is fine in a prestige-piece sort of way, with Murray expectedly delightful as the head of state, and multifaceted secret weapon Elizabeth Marvel a standout as a smarter-than-she-seems executive assistant. Hyde Park could have been fawningly ponderous; that it’s merely an airy trifle puts it a cut above the usual Oscar bait.
|Release date:||Thursday March 28 2013|