TIFF 2012: Hyde Park on Hudson is Oscar Bound

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Bill Murray shines in Hyde Park on Hudson.
  • Bill Murray shines in Hyde Park on Hudson.

Once upon a time, in a country ravaged by economic ruin and weary from global conflict, the people of the nation turned to a leader they trusted to do the right thing.

"We have waited patiently to see whether the forces of business itself would counteract [an economic setback]," said the leader to his nation. "It has become apparent that government itself can no longer safely fail to take aggressive government steps to meet it."

And in April 1938, in a nation called the United States of America, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said:

"We have all learned the lesson that government cannot afford to wait until it has lost the power to act."

Was that moving speech really more than 70 years ago? Or was it yesterday?

In the film Hyde Park on Hudson, we are reminded that there was a time in our country when we were unconcerned with the personal foibles of our president, his physical afflictions or his unashamed embrace of intellectualism. Instead, we needed a leader.

There are many things to embrace in Hyde Park on Hudson. History is one. And Bill Murray's performance as FDR is another. Murray will no doubt be invited to more than his share of awards ceremonies this coming winter. He's that good.

But as I enjoyed each minute of this film, which debuted Sept. 9 at the Toronto International Film Festival, all I could think about was that this is a man I could vote for.

Flawed? Tremendously. Inspired? Absolutely. Qualified? Without question.

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