The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.
The opening scene of this movie had me laughing out loud and there were a couple of them which had the same effect. Most of all however I felt extremely sad for Florence’s character, who was just so very clueless. I guess it comes from a personal place as I know what it feels to be mocked and not realizing it at the time but yes it did upset me after a point.
On the other hand, the performances were superb. There are several interesting characters, all multifaceted and very well constructed, that were a joy to discover. Never was any information ever imposing at all, it was given progressively and at key moments and so it flowed so well, which is not an easy thing to achieve in a movie, especially these days. So yes, the screen writing definitely gets a big applause from me.
St Claire Bayfield was probably my favourite character. He is so devoted to Florence and yet he is still a man, so he has other needs. He struggles to find a balance between the two and that struggle shone through Grant’s performance – one of his best, I must say, certainly the best I have seen of him to date. He didn’t even have to say anything for me to feel for him.
Little Simon Helberg… Well, he blew me away. I had only known his work on The Big Bang Theory and never thought he was capable of pulling off something like this. His effeminate ways paired with his wavering between curiosity, maintaining composure and even his dignity all served to provide numerous humorous moments. He made me laugh most of anyone and he also made me care. That soft side of him truly moved me and provided a much-needed balance to the character and the entire story.
And Meryl Streep. Well. Not much to say about such an amazing actress. Stellar performance from beginning to end. Again, her story was told in the most organic, natural manner. There was never any info dumping and for that I was extremely grateful.
Florence Foster Jenkins is an interesting movie with a varied set of characters. It got quite a bit tiring for me at some points, there was some language that definitely did not seem fitting of 1944, and I honestly grew tired of Florence’s singing. It was one of those things that I felt were ok do it once or twice as it is funny, but do it much more than that it is just annoying and, again, sad.
I definitely recommend you watch it but for sure be prepared to both laugh and become quite emotional.