“Hyde Park” Speaks to the Future

December 24, 2012
Posted by Jay Livingston
“Hyde Park on Hudson” has one jarring anachronism.  I’m sure the art design crew and the costume people worked hard to make everything authentically 1939.  The room decor, the clothing, that 1939 copy of Collier’s, the photographer’s cameras and hats, the cigarettes, and of course the cars.

But then why this?

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No wonder Missy has to ask what Daisy means.  We wouldn’t have metaphorical things on our metaphorical plates for another fifty years.* 

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The only plates in 1939 were the literal ones, the kind that keep crashing in the Hyde Park dining room.   It’s as though when FDR turns on the car radio, instead of the Ink Spots, we hear Kanye West – and intsead of a radio, an iPod.

* I think “Mad Men” too used this same plate cliche, but that was rushing things by only 30-40 years.  Also, in “Hyde Park,” when Eleanor offers an unflattering view of the British royals, FDR says, “Let’s give them a break, can we?”  That sounded anachronistic to my ear, but Google N-grams shows the phrase rising in popularity starting in the late 1920s.

(Click on the graph for a larger view.)


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