I’ve decided to relaunch Rental Reviews as a written blog instead of a podcast. It is interesting that one of the last movies I reviewed on this site was The King’s Speech because the character of King George VI or “Bertie” as Queen Elizabeth called him is in this movie as well. The movie takes place over one weekend in 1939 at Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s home of Hyde Park on the Hudson in New York state. Bill Murray, in a very understated role, plays FDR. Laura Linney plays Daisy, a distant cousin of Roosevelt’s, who is invited to the home to help prepare for the arrival of the Royals. The Roosevelts have invited the King and Queen of England to their home. King George is going to try to convince President Roosevelt to join Britain in the upcoming war. A romance begins to blossom between Daisy and FDR even though Eleanor is at the house as well. Daisy and FDR go on drives through the countryside, and he shows her his stamp collection. The pace of the movie is pretty slow and leisurely.
There were some moments of humor here and there within the movie. When King George and Queen Elizabeth arrive, they are shown to their room which has cartoons on the wall making fun of the British soldiers during the War of 1812. They are both appalled that these pictures are hanging in their room. Also, the next day the two are treated to a picnic consisting of hot dogs and entertainment by Native American dancers. It seemed like the writer and/or director were trying to create humor out of a “fish out of water” scenario.
According to some articles I have read, it is apparent that the movie played some of the facts a bit loosely. FDR did a have a cousin Daisy who visited the White House often and was there at his deathbed. It is not clear that FDR ever had an affair with her however. According to the movie, Daisy’s diaries and journals from the time period were found after her death revealing that FDR and she were having a “special relationship”. Overall I would give the movie 3 out of 5 stars. It had its entertaining moments and it was fun to see another instance of the stuttering King George, but the pace of the movie was a little too slow for my liking.