2012 Certificate: 12


It's Downton USA in this frothy account of King George VI's audience with President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the eve of WW2, when Britain requested America's help in fighting the Nazis. Bill Murray clearly enjoys himself as the eccentric, polio stricken Commander-in-Chief, while Samuel West plays the same stuttering monarch Colin Firth portrayed to Oscar-winning effect in that King's Speech movie. Roger 'Notting Hill' Michell directs while rising national treasure Olivia Colman is on prim, mildly unamused form as Queen Elizabeth (aka the Queen Mum).


  • Roger Michell


  • Bill Murray

  • Laura Linney

  • Olivia Williams

  • Samuel West

  • Olivia Colman

  • Elizabeth Wilson


Laura Linney is efficiently wistful as Margaret, narrating that long-gone summer of 1939 when FDR wooed her, and incidentally received the King and Queen of England to his home.

Bill Murray is efficiently sprightly as the President, charming but with a roving eye for the ladies that his wife Eleanor (an efficiently pragmatic Olivia Williams) tolerates.

The only surprising (and distasteful) element to Richard Nelson's script (adapted from his radio play) is that the President's afternoon drive groping of his distant cousin Margaret is not met with a slap to the chops.

But, the film is efficiently helmed with chocolate box prettiness by Roger Michell, forever the director of Notting Hill - an efficient romcom that arrived at just the moment audiences wanted to be charmed... efficiently.

Hyde Park on Hudson will muster no such adoration, but it's a lightweight and entirely acceptable way to kill a couple of hours on a lazy Sunday.