[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Hyde Park on Hudson opens today in limited release.]
Hyde Park on Hudson is two stories: one is a bizarre, deeply misguided “love story” about a mistress; the other is a charming fish-out-of-water story set on a historical stage. Blended together, they make a film that’s unintentionally funny in its brazen schizophrenia where the plotlines overlap in terms of setting and nothing else. Director Roger Michell doesn’t seem to notice how different these stories are, and instead of choosing the superior one, his vacillation makes the picture a captivating train wreck where I couldn’t help but wonder if Michell was being subversively hilarious. How else do you explain a scene featuring cinema’s most romantic handjob?