NON HORROR REVIEW-It's extremely obvious what the production crew for this 2012 Roger Michell (Changing Lanes, Notting Hill) directed effort was attempting to accomplish with "Hyde Park On Hudson." Simply put, they were going for an Oscar and the end result was a motion picture that didn't receive a single nomination for the 85th Annual Academy Awards, failing miserably in the process.
However, Bill Murray (FDR) was fortunate enough to pick up a nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, although I am not sure "Hyde Park On Hudson" fits into either of those genres. There was plenty of humor throughout, yet not enough for it to be considered that genre, which leads me to believe the nomination was possibly out of sympathy.
I do love Bill Murray and just about anything he does, but I must admit this was not a great performance from him by any means and not even a good fit for his personality. Just because he played both an invalid and a former President should not give him the green light for such an honor, which as mentioned before is super obvious with the placement and release date of this film.
The locations were beautiful with a handful of jaw dropping gorgeously proportioned freeze frames, mainly of the sky or the fields. Michell's directing was mediocre and the script (Richard Nelson) was just the same. It wasn't until after the final scene that viewers found out that the film was based off diary entries, which could have made all the difference in the world for the effectiveness of "Hyde Park On Hudson."
Nonetheless, I was majorly impressed by the acting of Samuel West (Dark Relic, Notting Hill) and his execution of playing King George VI "Bertie." If any nominations were truly snubbed from this film it was for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for the incredible job West did with being the King. Single handed, he made "Hyde Park On Hudson" worth watching by bringing a perfect charisma to what would have otherwise been a complete bore.
After the 94 minutes of the film had passed, I really couldn't put my finger on what the film was really supposed to be about, aside from the simple fact that they were going for an Academy Award and needed to slap something together with either an invalid or a President, in this case they went for both and failed. Too bad, I was really hoping Bill Murray was truly robbed for the nomination, instead he was robbed of his time and risks a blemish on his amazing and extensive resume.