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Opening: Hyde Park on Hudson 

After Steven Spielberg’s worshipful Lincoln, it should be refreshing to see a presidential biopic that doesn’t evade its subject’s flaws. Hyde Park on Hudson offers an unflinching view of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, showing us his withered legs, his need to be carried bodily by attendants, and his private frustration over his handicap. It also highlights his marital infidelity. Who’d have thought a film about presidential philandering would focus on the discreet affairs of the crippled FDR rather than the brazen womanizing of JFK? As refreshing as that is, it’s uncomfortable watching the 32nd president, impersonated here by Bill Murray, jiggling in his convertible as he receives a hand job from his fifth cousin, Daisy (Laura Linney). Daisy is based on FDR relative Margaret Suckley, whose alleged affair with the president was revealed after her death. Daisy narrates, recounting how she came to be the president's mistress, one of several who gave Roosevelt comfort while his wife, Eleanor, kept separate lodgings.

More by Pamela Zoslov

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