Hyde Park on Hudson Movie Poster Image

Hyde Park on Hudson



Presidential drama is well acted but short on passion.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Men and women of greatness are human, too -- with their own foibles and failings. So perhaps it's best not to lionize them, but to appreciate what they bring to the table without losing sight of their humanity.

Positive role models

Daisy is loyal and true to FDR from the start. She's genuinely interested in him as a person, not as the president of the United States. Still, he is a married man, and both of them are culpable in how they act on their attraction to each other.


A little yelling.


One scene shows a couple in a car -- it's strongly implied that she's using her hand to pleasure him. Viewers don't see much more than their faces and the backs of their heads, though there's bouncy movement that hints at what's happening. Later, characters discuss one person's rampant infidelity and speculate about another's sexuality. In the background of one scene, a naked woman is seen (fuzzily and from somewhat of a distance).


Relatively infrequent language includes "damn," "hell," "son of a bitch," "whore," "oh my God," and "goddamn."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of era-accurate smoking. Some characters also drink cocktails to relax, though they bear the brunt of another person's disapproval for doing so.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hyde Park on Hudson is a light period drama focusing on a fateful weekend when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray) played host to the king and queen of England. Against a rich backdrop of pre-World War II history, an infatuation develops between the president and his distant cousin, Margaret Stuckley (Laura Linney). The movie offers a decidedly intimate portrayal of the president, following him into his bedroom. One fairly sexual scene takes place in a car; nothing graphic is shown, but movements and gestures imply that a woman is using her hand to pleasure a man. A naked woman is also seen in the background of another scene (fuzzily), and there's also some swearing and plenty of period-accurate smoking and drinking.

What's the story?

World War II looms, and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and his wife, Eleanor (Olivia Williams), are set to host the king and queen of England (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) at FDR's family estate, Hyde Park. The trip is meaningful in so many ways: His Majesty would like America's support, but his country is being met with lots of skepticism on this side of the pond. Just as messy is the president's personal life, which is crowded by his enigmatic wife, his domineering mother, and his distant cousin, Daisy (Laura Linney), with whom FDR finds himself spending lots of time alone. Personal and political collide over the pivotal weekend.

Is it any good?


Watching Bill Murray play FDR is like watching jazz; he's loose, relaxed, confident, and not at all hammy, unlike so many other depictions we've seen in previous presidential movies. It makes for an interesting, fascinating performance, primarily because it's unlike anything we've seen before. Linney, too, is reliably impressive, infusing Daisy with a curious and effective mix of naivete, pragmatism, and romanticism.

Nonetheless, HYDE PARK ON HUDSON is oddly short on passion -- confusing, considering that it's unmasking a long and abiding love affair by one of history's most interesting presidents. There's some joy to derive from the private meetings between the king and FDR and the king and queen, but everything plays at a curious remove, depriving Hyde Park on Hudson of the electricity it deserves.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Hyde Park on Hudson portrays Roosevelt. How does it compare to the FDR we usually see in movies and TV shows? Which do you think is a more accurate depiction? Why do filmmakers sometimes take liberties with history?

  • Is it challenging to view a beloved president in this light? Or does Hyde Park on Hudson do a good job of humanizing him, even if it means knocking him off the proverbial pedestal?

  • Why is Daisy drawn to FDR, and vice versa? How does the film portray Eleanor Roosevelt and her reaction to Daisy?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 7, 2012
DVD/Streaming release date:April 9, 2013
Cast:Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams
Director:Roger Michell
Studio:Focus Features
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:brief sexuality

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Teen, 14 years old Written bySomeoneYouDon'tKnow January 22, 2013

Best Presidential drama of all time!

This movie is achingly beautiful. It has drama, comedy, romance, character development, and some of the best performances ever put on film in my opinion. Bill Murray, in particular, is astonishing as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the best portrayal of a president I have ever seen, period. He infuses just the right amount of humor and seriousness in a role that will certainly turn the tables for his career. Step aside, Daniel Day-Lewis, Bill Murray portrays a President in one of the most perfect performances I have ever seen in any film, ever. Laura Linney is fascinating as Daisy, who we really feel for as someone who feels on top of everything and then shot down. Samuel West and Olivia Colman are great as the King and Queen of England, with West doing a good job with portraying the nervousness and stutter of George IV, and with Colman acting as a good, supporting wife who is nervous but strong, and they have some really good chemistry together when they're onscreen. The plot is very original and inventive (I had no idea FDR was that sleazy!), and there are some very funny jokes, some really strong, touching scenes, and a brilliant script to back it all up. My only real problem with the movie is that it could have been longer; I think we could have had more time to see what Daisy was going through and what the President felt about the situation and what he was doing. But aside from that, this film is nearly pitch-perfect. It's strong, emotive, passionate, sensual (but not TOO sensual; in fact, I don't even know why it got an R rating!), funny, dramatic, and heartfelt, making it my favorite Presidential drama, as well as one of my favorite movies of all time.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byDan G. April 12, 2013

R-rated movie essentially about adultery, and lots of it.

This movie is based on actual letters found by a distant cousin to President Franklin Roosevelt. This movie is about their adulterous affair, Eleanor's adultery with multiple men, and the adulteries of members of the President's staff. Far from a moral tale about how such activity eventually destroys marriages, children, love and life, it presents this way of living as OK, without consequences. Not the thing we want to be teaching our children.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 17, 18+, and 18+ year old Written byknysnamom July 15, 2013

FDR & his mistresses

From the back of the box it sounded like a worthwhile glimpse into a crucial period in US/UK relations; this film is actually about FDR and his mistresses. I found it to be extremely disappointing and eventually, about three-quarters of the way through, I gave up watching.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking