Florence Foster Jenkins, an heiress from NYC, always wanted to be a concert pianist and play Carnegie Hall. An injury in her youth deterred that dream, so she sets out to sing her way to Carnegie Hall, knowing the only way to get there would be, "Practice, practice, practice". Her husband supports her venture, and Florence Foster Jenkins' performance at Carnegie Hall becomes a truly historic event.Written by
Jenkins created all her own outfits, inspired by the style of "a Mexican señorita" and 18th-century ball gowns. She also designed her pair of heavenly wings. According to costume designer Consolata Boyle, "She was a supreme performer, so her clothes were gorgeously outrageous. They were high camp but with a softness so she drew people in. And she had no embarrassment about how she looked." See more »
When Kathleen turned on the radio in St. Clair's apartment, it came on instantly. It should have needed several seconds to warm up. See more »
St Clair Bayfield:
"Swounds I should take it, for it cannot be but I *am* pigeon-livered and lack gall to make oppression bitter, or ere this I should have fatted all the region kites with this slave's offal. Boody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain! O vengeance!"
[applause, takes a bow]
St Clair Bayfield:
Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. That was, of course, a speech of Hamlet's from a play I was lucky enough to perform in on several occasions, though ...
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This one pleasantly surprised me. Meryl Streep does a nice job as the real-life untalented Ms. Jenkins, who is surrounded by people who just want to make her happy. She hires a pianist (Simon Helberg, one of the geeks from "The Big Bang Theory") but no one will tell her how bad she is, least of all her husband, played by Hugh Grant. Inspired by the boys fighting in WW II, she cuts a record, then manages to book a concert at Carnegie Hall for the troops. (One flaw during the concert - the actress who plays Tallulah Bankhead is way too good-looking to be believable as the actual Bankhead.)
Streep pulls off the role very well. I found myself laughing at some of the voice rehearsals, but feeling a twinge of sorrow as this woman was trying to pursue a dream seemingly beyond her reach. Helberg is quirky as her pianist, who realizes she stinks, but comes around to supporting her. The big surprise for me was the performance of Hugh Grant. Just watch his eyes and you will see his every emotion, from his affection for Streep (despite his having an affair), his desire to make her happy, and his anguish as he watches her bomb. His performance is the most impressive.
Solid performances, good script, laugh-out-loud moments, and tender scenes. Good movies are still being made, folks.
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