Warm Springs

by Megan M. on May 8, 2005 · View Comments (Blog) |

Today with my mother and grandmother I watched HBO’s film about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the beginnings of the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, the first warm water rehabilitation facility for polio patients. There was a great deal of walking and running imagery all through the beginning of the movie was very poignant (of course). Would it have been so poignant, I wonder, if I hadn’t already known he lost the use of his legs?

Kenneth Branagh is simply amazing. We already know this. He’s so full of humanity, human emotion, human feeling, human this and that and the other thing. Kenneth Branagh is chock-full of acting goodness. I always watch his movies with at least some modicum of fascination, and I can’t take my eyes off the screen.

Furthermore, I had no idea Cynthia Nixon was such a good actress. I realized this very, very early on in the film. Of course, I’ve only seen her in Sex and the City… but still. She’s wonderful!

Some notes:

  • Does anyone else get the impression that FDR was stricken with polio as divine punishment for his marital infidelity? Most of you will already know that I have progressive views on fidelity of any sort, but I still got this feeling from the script…

  • “…And make it a feast? Here’s a five-spot.” Wow. Just… wow.

  • How authentic do you think this script was written to be? I rather wonder. How much can you condense a great story before it becomes fiction? Are all great stories fiction, regardless of their authenticity?

  • It’s such a pleasure to see Tim Blake Nelson as Tom Loyless. I don’t think I’ve seen him in anything but O Brother, Where Art Thou… and he’s just so good.

  • I am continually blown away by the quality of HBO offerings. The scripts, the acting, everything is absolutely amazing. Carnivale is another example of television at its finest. I really think I need to see Deadwood soon.

  • “When I can walk, I’ll run.”

I wanted the film to go on much longer than it did – I would’ve sat here for three more hours to watch the rest. Hell, they could’ve covered the years before his presidency and each re-elected term. I was really enjoying myself! And I think if this is released on DVD, it’s going on my wishlist. Especially yummy television.

  • worldmegan
    LOL! Thanks, man. :}
  • Jason
    Hey, I totally agree. Like the way you think...
  • worldmegan
    I didn't *really* feel that he was being punished... but I can't deny that the script seemed set up that way. They went almost directly from the infidelity issue to the polio issue - it was a little bit eerie! As for my progressive views on fidelity of every sort, I just don't see one man-woman pairing as being the be all and end all of faithful relationship possibilities... and according to history, neither did Eleanor Roosevelt herself, so we're agreed on that one. :}
  • Jason
    Please explain your " views on fidelity of any sort...".
    I didn't feel that way about the film, but would like to know why you did.

    Great site!
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