With only a few more Academy Award nominees winners headed on to Blu-ray and DVD in the coming weeks, including Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook, it's a slow month for home entertainment releases. However, there are a few diamonds hidden in the rough this week, including the final season of Starz's program, Boss and a wildly dominant performance from Bill Murray opposite the wistful Laura Linney in Hyde Park on Hudson. Read on to learn about some of this week’s best releases, and maybe even a few that may have slipped under your radar.
Hyde Park on Hudson
Lush in props and other details of the age, Hyde Park on Hudson begins, startlingly, with a courtship between Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and Daisy Suckley (Laura Linney). Some time later, World War II is on the verge of breaking out, and a visit between the President and his wife and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Samuel West and Olivia Coleman) is in order. At first, things are awkward between the two parties, who come from different cultural backgrounds and perspectives, but the charming narrative finds that there is common ground.
If you are able to invest in the extremely slow pace of Hyde Park on Hudson you’ll find it to be a dreamy adventure with moments of comedy. Linney’s Daisy plays narrator throughout the film, which can occasionally be distracting, although it’s also nice that the character gets a voice in the narrative. While great actors are playing great people in this film, some of the best moments are quick conversations between the servants and other employees in the household, which gives the film some Upstairs, Downstairs charm. While Hyde Park on Hudson follows an important meeting between powerful individuals, it’s often better in its subtler moments.
Order Hyde Park on Hudson via Amazon.
Best Special Feature: “A Look Inside Hyde Park on Hudson” is actually a snappy feature that takes a look at Murray’s performance as Roosevelt and the unique contraptions and props the actor had to use to become the character. There was no room to note this before, but of all the performances in Hyde Park on Hudson, Murray’s is a masterful rendition, from perfecting and accent to learning to move with the cadence of a handicap. The movie as a whole is slow, but it’s worth checking out for his performance, alone.
Other Special Features: Deleted Scenes
“First Days” Storytelling with director Roger Michell
Feature commentary with Roger Michell and Producer Kevin Loader