Hyde Park on Hudson


(2012) ★★

Channel 4: PREMIERE 17 May, 12.10am

Even playing Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States, Bill Murray is still Bill Murray. Smiling thinly, he’s mock-quizzical, a twinking figure but remote. Laura Linney is his distant cousin Daisy. She says he says she distracts him from the weight of the world. It’s the summer of 1939 and England’s king and queen are visiting the Roosevelts at their upstate New York home, cap in hand. Europe is on the brink of war and America could care less. Derived from a radio play based on Daisy’s diaries – a fifth or sixth cousin, no one seems sure, not even she – this prissy period piece, with its sun-kissed photography and tinkly music score, is costume comedy-drama at its most dull and irrelevant. A veritable celebration of trivia. With Daisy giving FDR relief massages in sun-dappled meadows, this cynical, mocking project is no King’s Speech. In fact, on some weird level, it’s quite as dumbly misjudged as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The music is awful, as omni-present and irksome as Miss Linney’s narration. The two stars are for Broadchurch Bafta winner Olivia Colman, a splendidly suspicious Queen Elizabeth.

Certificate: 12
Duration: 91min