YES Obama! That’s what we want to hear! More of this please - and ACT on it too.
So it has come to my attention that there is a new FDR biopic doing the rounds - Hyde Park on Hudson starring Bill Murray. This was initially an exciting prospect, as Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of America’s greatest President’s and certainly its longest serving. From taking on his forebear’s (Theodore) progressive mantle to introduce the radical New Deal reforms, to his time as supreme Commander-in-Chief during WWII and his battle with Polio that left him unable to walk (which, tbf, has previously been explored on film) and his relationship with wife and political partner, Eleanor - FDR left a huge legacy with a wealth of material to mine for any prospective biopic.
So what story, pray tell, has Hollywood chosen to honour such an iconic leader? Why, it’s about the time King George VI visited that one time. I kid you not, one of the 20th century’s most influential men has been relegated to the guy that got to meet the King that one time. Never mind the fact that the British monarchy is largely inconsequential except as a figurehead and therefore is not invested with any real power (if they had to explore FDR’s dealings with foreign leaders, why not his legendary meetings with Churchill and Stalin?) and forget that fawning over the King makes him come across as the returned prodigal son following the profound embarrassment that was the American Revolution and republicanism and democracy. No, never mind all that, what really bothers me is that this is a transparent attempt to use a famous figure-head to reel audiences in, but avoiding any material that might polarise audiences (because you know the Republicans would love to be reminded about how poorly they handled the Great Depression and that their only policy - cutting spending to balance the budget and ignoring the suffering of ordinary Americans - didn’t work and only made things worse). As I noted earlier on the Iron Lady biopic “they seem to have forgotten to actually say something about her rule and legacy… History is meant to be contentious!” So let’s not address such timely issues, let’s just wave some famous historical figures at people and grab their money and if we’re lucky, no one will realize how timely and radical a figure FDR was and how his policies totally contradict the current conservative zeitgeist of small government!