Hyde Park on Hudson (Roger Michell) -2012

This movie covers a small slice of a huge transitional period for global politics.  In 1939 the King of England (Samuel West) made a transatlantic trip to meet with the President of the United States (Bill Murray) to seek help from the United States to prevent the domination of Europe by the forces of Adolf Hitler.  The story is told from the view of one of Roosevelt's lady friends (Laura Linney) who was understandably obsessed with her personal relationship with the president.  The director and cinematographer (Lol Crawley) deserve their acclaim for reproducing the feel of the pre-war country and the beautiful landscape of upstate New York.  Murray portrays FDR with honesty and respect.  The supporting cast is excellent with an extremely fine performance by Olivia Colman as the future Queen Mum.  FDR had a special relationship with the news photographers and writers of the time.  His weaknesses would not have gone unnoticed in today's world.  Director Michell takes us back to an age of relative innocence when culture gaps could be spanned by the simple act of eating a hot dog.  [JAM 1/6/2013]