Florence Foster Jenkins

"Streep is right there, solidly invested in the folly of Florence's dreams. When she declares that 'music has been, and is, my life,' you believe her." - New Yorker

"Meryl Streep plays wealthy New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins. The real life woman was a patron of the city’s opera scene in the 1930s and 1940s. Once in a while, she would sing at small events, and those invited would politely praise her. But Jenkins couldn’t sing a lick. For some reason, Jenkins decided in fall 1944 to put on a concert at Carnegie Hall.

"This movie is that story.

"Jenkins is doted on by her common-law husband St. Clair Bayfield. He’s played wonderfully by Hugh Grant. They were together 40 years, and Bayfield protected Jenkins from critics. In the film, Grant bounces through the plot like a ping-pong ball, squashing critics and hiding criticism from the fickle and emotionally tormented Jenkins.

"Again, Streep demonstrates that she’s the best actress or actor of all-time. Period. When it requires stunning beauty, the 67-year old Streep can still turn heads. If matronly is required — as in this case — she steps up.

"Plus, Streep is an incredible singer. And it’s her vocal skills that sell this premise. Her singing is ear-splitting bad. It takes exceptional skill for a good singer to sing that badly.

"This is where Streep shines. She’s brilliant as the talentless, pathetic woman. Her ups and downs are as fun as Grant’s, and both have a blast with this material. By the way, Simon Helberg, who plays Howard on The Big Bang Theory, plays Jenkins’ pianist, and he’s as good as his two big-star co-stars.

"And then there’s the — dare we call it — music. Too much fun to miss. 5/5 stars (Must be seen on the big screen.)" - Gary Wolcott, Tri-City Herald


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