There is not a lot to do for eight hours on that sardine can known as an airplane, unless you choose to: 1) eat several bad meals; 2) bring your own entertainment; 3) bring a small child, in which case entertainment is the least of your worries, or 4) watch some of the small screen films on the small screen in the back of the head rest in front of you. I chose 4), and was actually pleasantly surprised, more so with Hitchcock, than with Hyde Park on the Hudson. In regard to the latter, Bill Murray is excellent as FDR, but it’s an FDR you don’t much want to like— FDR the philanderer and exploiter of women, with full knowledge of his wife, even including his cousin Daisy. Laura Linney is a fantastic actress (see e.g. her role as Abigail Adams in the John Adams mini-series), but she is not given enough chance to prove herself in this film, even though she is the narrator of the film’s action. The story is meant to be about the visit of the King and Queen of England (yes that King— the stutterer, the King’s Speech king) to Hyde Park to meet with Roosevelt. The austensible purpose of the trip is to grease the wheels of getting America’s help with the coming war with Germany. Bill Murray deserved an Oscar nomination for this film, but the film itself is disjointed, and the subject matter that is emphasized is sordid.
Both of these films are short and to the point, but the one I really loved was the Hitchcock. Sadly the man never won an Oscar either for his many fine films, or as an director. He was given a lifetime achievement award in 1979, but this is more of an apology for earlier oversights frankly. He was a creative genius and deserved better from his peers.