You can always tell it’s Oscar season when films featuring big-name actors and actresses portraying famous historical figures start rolling into theaters (recent examples include The King’s Speech, My Week with Marilyn, etc.). Focus Features has gone ahead and released a trailer for one such production on the horizon, titled Hyde Park on Hudson.
The Hyde Park on Hudson cast is headed by Bill Murray as Franklin D. Roosevelt – who is joined by his Rushmore costar, Olivia Williams, as the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Samuel West (Howard’s End) as King George VI, and Olivia Colman (Tyrannosaur) as Queen Elizabeth. However, similar to My Week with Marilyn, the film unfolds from the perspective of a more obscure name: Daisy (Laura Linney), FDR’s distant cousin, who also becomes a good friend and confidante to the famous U.S. president – not to mention, partly serves as the audience’s eyes and ears as the film’s major players collide over the course of a colorful weekend gathering.
Judging by this early footage, Murray looks to do a spot-on job channeling the mannerisms and personality of the late FDR; in short, his performance is pure Oscar bait. That also goes for the lovely period production design, old-fashioned musical soundtrack and storyline about the messiness of human emotions – all within the context of a get-together between British royalty and the U.S. First Couple (set against a WW II backdrop). Make no mistake, Hyde Park on Hudson appears to be for the period drama crowd what, say, Battleship is for those who love summer popcorn blockbuster fare. (And there’s nothing wrong with that.)
Many Murray fans should be pleased to see the actor continue his trend of working on more artsy and independent fare. Hyde Park on Hudson also looks to have a bit more mainstream appeal than some of Murray’s most recent work, such as his collaborations with Wes Anderson (including, this year’s Moonrise Kingdom) or Jim Jarmusch (Broken Flowers, The Limits of Control). After all, the film was directed by Roger Michell – whose credits include frothy flicks like Morning Glory and Notting Hill, along with more serious dramas, such as Enduring Love and Venus – with a screenplay by Tony Award-winner Richard Nelson.
Focus Features was also wise to settle on the early December date for Hyde Park on Hudson. That will allow it to start building momentum for the big award shows in early 2013, while also serving as counter-programming to the big blockbusters due to hit theaters that month (The Hobbit, One Shot, etc.).
Hyde Park on Hudson begins a limited theatrical release in the U.S. on December 7th, 2012.
Source: Yahoo! Movies
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