To play with history as the background for a good story is one thing. To reach into history and snatch out well-known historical figures and make them say and do what you want to produce a sexy film is quite another.
It's not a biopic nor is it a dense procedural like Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, but instead showcases the politics of perception and interpersonal relationships, contrasted with quieter, more intimate moments away from the media and others.
Roger Michell's Hyde Park on Hudson is half a good movie. When it focuses on the quirks and manipulations of international events, it crackles and pops -- and when it turns its attention to the soap-operatic romance, it settles into a dull hum.