While both Daniel Day Lewis and Benjamin Walker will portray Abraham Lincoln this year, Bill Murray as usual is going down his own distinct path playing a different president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt in “Hyde Park On Hudson.” And this writer is anticipating it more than either “Lincoln” or “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and Focus Features has dropped a few new images to tease the film.
Directed by Roger Michell (“Morning Glory,” “Notting Hill“) and written by Richard Nelson—who adapted his own 2009 radio play—the story focuses on a rather curious moment in FDR’s life. The movie is set over a weekend in 1939 when Brit royalty visits his upstate New York home for the weekend, and will shed light on his affair with his cousin Margaret Stuckley. Olivia Williams plays FDR’s wife, Eleanor, with Laura Linney as Margaret while British actors Samuel West and Olivia Colman will portray King George and Queen Elizabeth.
Certainly on the surface level the picture looks great, and Murray seems pretty charming as the commander in chief. But we’re curious about the tone of the piece, and how Murray will navigate the comedy and drama. Certainly, he’s done dramedy more than once before, but here he’s impersonating a famous figure, in a period piece and we’d argue the dramatic stakes might be higher.
Either way, it’s going to be quite a wait to find out as the film doesn’t hit theaters until December 7th — which seems to indicate this is an awards season player — and thus we’d wager some kind of festival premiere is inevitable.