Thursday, 7 February 2013


Based on the diaries of Daisy, the real life (several-times- removed) cousin of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, I found this film a disappointingly mundane affair.

Taking place in 1939, Daisy becomes, to her consternation, the object of infatuation - and wandering hands - of the married FDR. (Ooh, the randy devil!) The entire dramatic momentum of the film is provided by the conflicted emotions of Daisy, played by the excellent Laura Linney, almost all the time in sullen mood, reflecting her confusion at being given such unexpected and unwanted attentions. Bill Murray as the Pres is okay.

The film starts in pleasant enough and gentle style but I felt it translating into sluggishness quite soon.   I didn't think the script was especially memorable or noteworthy.
Comic relief is presented in the forms of Samuel West and Olivia Colman as the stammering King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the later-to-become 'Queen Mother', of course). Both resemble nothing like the real royal couple they impersonate, the former especially looking even less like 'Bertie' did than Colin Firth, appearing in 'The King's Speech'. The regularly interspersed  'humorous' scenes featuring this couple relate to their gaucheness, discomfort and ignorance in the unfamiliar milieu of American society (on the first ever visit by a reigning British monarch) - as exemplified in the oft-mentioned 'hot dogs'. (Actually, I don't think I myself knew what this 'snack' was until the 1960s.)

Btw: A film cliche is unimaginatively included. When a character says that s/he doesn't smoke, you can guarantee that before long you will see them puffing away with gay abandon. Oh dear!

A film of passing interest perhaps, but nothing more substantial than that.........................5/10


  1. and the damn movie was even NOT filmed at hyde park, but at some estate in the UK! this fact pissed me off from the start.

    FDR was a horny dude, perhaps because he was married to eleanor. if ever I should meet up with eleanor in the next life, I intend to ask her why she stayed with franklin.

    1. I hadn't looked it up to see where it was filmed, A.M., but what you say doesn't surprise me. It all seemed oddly British - which I particularly noticed during FDR's motorised excursions into the countryside.

      Yes, just what is it with 20th century Democratic Presidents that they can't help indulging in a bit of extra-marital 'hanky-panky'? - or is it that the Republican ones were more successful in keeping a lid on what they got up to? I cannot believe that the latter were any more restrained.

  2. I can't see Bill Murray as FDR - that's Bill Murray !

    1. Very true, Dr Spo. It took rather more imagination than I was capable of., but all praise to him for attempting it.