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The Boston Globe



In ‘Hyde Park on Hudson,’ contradictions sink

Nicola Dove/Focus Features

Instead, director Roger Michell (“Notting Hill”), working from Richard Nelson’s screenplay, gives us a creepy sexual predator who’s also America’s benevolent big daddy, and the contradictions make your flesh crawl. There’s an early scene in which Roosevelt (Bill Murray) gets pleasured by Daisy (Laura Linney) while parked in a field in upstate New York, the car bouncing drolly on its springs. Later we learn he was the comforting father figure the insecure King George VI of England (Samuel West) desperately needed. Still later, we discover the president is also bedding his secretary (Elizabeth Marvel), after which we watch him humiliate Daisy in a bizarre interlude involving a hot dog at a Hyde Park picnic. All the while Jeremy Sams’s soundtrack music — easily the most cheerfully dunderheaded score of the year — blares away in an effort to paper over the film’s raging cognitive dissonance.

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