Picture it. New York. 1944 and a certain Mrs. Florence Foster Jenkins is an aging yet bubbly socialite with a great passion for music yearns to be as close to that world as she can be. She has for years been a passionate benefactor to the musical community of New York. She lives and breathes music and that love of music seems to have kept her alive well past expectancy. Her husband is a former actor who is devoted to her dreams, but due to circumstances, he maintains a separate address and lives with a younger girlfriend while he tends to and indulges his wife.
One night, Florence decides she wants to sing again and just like that she secures a voice coach and a young pianist to accompany her. The only problem is Madam Foster cannot sing to save her life. For all the passion she puts into it, the poor dear just doesn’t have the pipes. Her husband proves his devotion in how he makes sure not a single scrap of negative criticism falls upon her head. He bribes and influences anyone and everyone he can to keep her dream alive, which becomes increasingly difficult as her dreams get bigger and bigger with every passing day.
Based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, the story is full of humor and heart and Meryl Streep brings such conviction to her role, you can’t help but fall in love with Madam Jenkins. She may not be able to sing, but her spirit and boundless joy for music is infectious. How can you not root for the old gal? Hugh Grant also turns in an incredible performance as Florence’s husband. I feel like there may have been more detail to their story and the movie may have merely hinted at some things, but it’s such a joy to watch and experience it’s hardly a consideration. A real stand out is Simon Helberg as Cosme McMoon, Madam Foster’s pianist. He’s a far cry from Howard Wolowitz from the Big Bang Theory, as many will recognize him, and as timid as he may seem it’s thrilling to see him go on this incredible journey with Madam Foster and you see how her contagious spirit endears her to others.
A great movie with a great cast. Lighter than the average ‘based on a true story’ fare and I think that is to its credit. The film spares no expense in transporting you back to 1940’s New York. It brings the glitz and charm of the bygone era back to our hearts, even if it was only a world seen by the rich and priveleged. It truly is a movie that will transport you and you will wish you could have been there to see the real Florence Foster Jenkins, but I think this movie is the next best thing.
Audience: The audience was rather small for this presentation and they were very well behaved. It was made up of mostly older women. They drove me a little nuts during the trailers since they all felt they needed to verbally react to each trailer, but once the movie started, everyone was very respectful.