Hyde nor heir of impending doom
Based on the private journals of Margaret Lynch Suckley, a distant relative of Franklin D Roosevelt, Roger Michell's misfiring comedy recalls an important meeting between America and Britain on the eve of the Second World War.
This highly-charged period in history should provide a vibrant backdrop to Hyde Park On Hudson, as two nations prepared for a protracted conflict with Germany.
Instead, Michell's film largely ignores impending doom to focus on relationships at the New York country estate where Roosevelt prepared to welcome King George VI and his wife Elizabeth.
It was the first visit across the Atlantic by a reigning British monarch and the eyes of the world were fixed on Hudson Valley in the summer of 1939.
The eyes and minds of the audience, meanwhile, search for structure in Richard Nelson's muddled script, which brings together these historical figures but fails to milk genuine emotion from the turmoil.
Feverish media interest is glimpsed through the eyes of Daisy (Laura Linney), who describes herself as fifth or sixth cousin to the president.
Living with her aunt (Eleanor Bron), Daisy is unexpectedly summoned to the side of the 32nd president (Bill Murray) in the hope she can take his mind off the hoopla surrounding the British royals (Samuel West, Olivia Colman).
Daisy arrives with preparations in full swing, masterminded by Franklin's formidable mother, Mrs Roosevelt (Elizabeth Wilson), and his acid-tongued wife Eleanor (Olivia Williams), who has publicised details of the meeting in a column she writes.
Amid this whirl of activity, Daisy develops a close bond with Franklin and they become lovers. But Daisy isn't Franklin's only means of distraction and she must learn to share the man in power with others in his inner circle.
Hyde Park On Hudson boasts a stellar cast, who strain every sinew to wring laughter and tears from Nelson's script.
Murray has a twinkle in his eye as the elderly statesman but demonstrates a gentle touch with his British guests when he tells George behind closed doors, "You are going to be a very fine king. Your father would be very proud." But Linney is underused and deserves better. In truth, so do we.