Spinster Daisy (Linney) arrives at the Roosevelt estate to provide company for distant cousin Franklin (Murray). An affair ensues, disrupted by the visit of King George VI (West).
This is mystifying, since nothing more closely resembling sex, let alone chemistry, ever occurs between them on screen, thank heavens. Nothing much, period, occurs, until, in what was a first American visit by any British monarch, the King and Queen of England descend for a few anxious days in 1939. Samuel West and Olivia Colman bring much-needed zest as Bertie and Elizabeth, he still stammering and she considerably more tetchy than Helena Bonham Carter’s supportive wifey in The King’s Speech.
But there is a vast disconnect between drab Daisy’s visits and that
of the royals. Inspired by Daisy’s diaries and letters, Richard Nelson’s screenplay uses abundant voiceover from Linney for her point of view. But since she didn’t even dine with the royalty, and certainly wasn’t in their bedroom, she couldn’t possibly have known what was going on there. The only thing that one can suppose connects the A and B stories, and we’re straining here, is that both involve ‘special relationships’, the one between countries more fruitful than the personal one.
Disappointing given the talent and situation, dull as ditchwater and historically suspect, another The King’s Speech it definitely is not. Nice costumes, though.
Reviewed by Angie Errigo