Running Time: 105 mins
Release Date: 6th May 2016
Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson
The true story of Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep), the legendary New York heiress and socialite who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her “husband” and manager, St Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant) an aristocratic English actor, was determined
to protect his beloved Florence from the truth.
But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944, St Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.
I had never heard of Florence Foster Jenkins, but have since listened to her singing on YouTube. his film is a gentle look at Florence and her life as a rich woman who is determined to be an opera singer. What made Florence famous was the hilarity people found in her singing. I didn’t particular find the bad singing funny, but the reactions of St Clair, and her pianist, Cosme McMoon, played by, The Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg were amusing. It reminded me of particularly bad performers on talent contests like X-Factor, where love outshines truth – no one is willing to tell the person they love that they cannot follow their dream. The people around Florence pander to her unmelodious voice, for their own reasons, but those initial reasons seem to turn into a love for her. What we get here is a glimpse of at Florence and the people who loved her, despite her flaws. A surprisingly enjoyable film.