© 2024 New Hampshire Public Radio

Persons with disabilities who need assistance accessing NHPR's FCC public files, please contact us at publicfile@nhpr.org.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Purchase your Summer Raffle tickets now and you'll be entered into Tuesday's prize of the final $2,000 in gas or electric vehicle charging + car or cash & more!

In 'Hyde Park On Hudson' Murray Captures FDR

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Visiting the moon, of course, was the ambitious goal of the late John F. Kennedy. And we'll turn, now, to an earlier 20th century president - Franklin D. Roosevelt. He led the U.S. through the Depression and the Second World War, giving the country hope in his radio addresses, the famous Fireside Chats. Now, parts of FDR's life are the focus of a new movie, "Hyde Park on Hudson." Here's film critic Kenneth Turan.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Ronald Reagan liked to half-seriously say he didn't think anybody could be an effective president, if he hadn't been an actor first. Bill Murray plays Franklin D. Roosevelt, and his work beautifully conveys the notion of the chief executive as seductive star performer who counts on his charm to get his way. Murray's Roosevelt dominates every room he's in, with his chipper personality and cat-who's-eaten-the-canary grin. Talking in private to George VI, nicely played by Simon West, Roosevelt works his magic on England's new king.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "HYDE PARK ON HUDSON")

TURAN: "Hyde Park on Hudson" blends two different stories linked by Roosevelt's magnetic personality; and his vacation White House, in upstate New York. The first story involves FDR's romantic relationship with his distant cousin Daisy, played by Laura Linney. The second, more entertaining story focuses on a crucial state visit paid to Hyde Park in June of 1939, by England's king and queen.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "HYDE PARK ON HUDSON")

TURAN: FDR and Daisy share first impressions.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "HYDE PARK ON HUDSON")

TURAN: The director here is Roger Michell. And though his name is not necessarily on everyone's lips, he's made some of the most entertaining British films of the past 20 years, including "Notting Hill" and "Persuasion." Michell makes literate films, small-scale chamber pieces with a sly sense of humor, that invariably feature fine performances by accomplished actors. Bill Murray's portrayal of the allure of power, goes to the top of the list.

GREENE: Film critic Kenneth Turan. You hear him here, on MORNING EDITION. He also reviews movies for the Los Angeles Times. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Kenneth Turan is the film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition, as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide, and served as the Times' book review editor.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.