Reel Change in The Atlantic

This morning, The Atlantic published an article I wrote as part of their online content. It is an analysis of the hypocrisies of the new film, Hyde Park on Hudson, in which I examine the ways the film claims to value the privacy of our elected leaders – while simultaneously exploiting that privacy to make a quick buck. Here is an excerpt:

To suggest that the film has a political intent, however, would be giving the filmmakers too much credit. Hyde Park has only one purpose: To capitalize on the revelation that FDR had mistresses and to make a quick buck off of it. There is simply no other coherent thought to be found in the film. The story of the King and Queen’s weekend with the president is given no thematic connection to the love affair, and none of the characters reveal much sign of intelligence or humanity outside of their most primal impulses.

All of which makes Hyde Park very much a product of the current political era’s tawdry obsession with fame and celebrity.The film may have the look of a prestige picture, but it plays more like a version of FDR’s life as told by TMZ, focusing on naughty details and ignoring the historical implications of the events depicted (like, say, the fact that the conversations between FDR and King George might well end up determining the fate of the modern world).

You can read the whole article here.

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