FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS – review

 FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
     Based on a true story, Florence Foster Jenkins brings to the big screen the story of a woman of the same name. Set in the 1940s, the New York socialite had always been a big supporter of the arts, especially music. The real Florence Foster Jenkins was a talented pianist in her youth, which rooted her deep love of music. In her later years, she decided that her voice should be her instrument of choice. This leads to the comedic spiral at the heart of the movie. Jenkins’s heart is keeping the beat, but her vocal cords cannot hold the rhythm. With her ever-supporting husband by her side, Florence Foster Jenkins is determined to share her voice with the world.florance3
 
The acting in this film is amazing. The title character is portrayed in a way that only Meryl Streep could bring to life. She is so serious and passionate as she belts out offbeat notes and takes a breath in places never intended by the original music composers.  Hugh Grant’s performance as the loving husband, St. Clair Bayfield, should not be ignored. The way he looks at Florence as she misses every note, you would think she was the most incredible singer that ever lived. Simon Helberg perfectly executed the quiet and timid pianist Cosmé McMoon. While he knows the association with Jenkins may destroy his musical career, he also knows she is his only shot in advancing it. I also have to give a huge shout out to the rest of the cast and crew on this film. If I was anywhere near this set, I would have ruined every take by bursting out in laughter.florance4
 
My favorite thing about this movie was how everything was over the top, not just her musical abilities. This woman is completely over the top in every aspect. From the décor in her apartment to her love of potato salad, nothing is halfway with Madame Florence. Of course, her musical career is no exception to this quality. She must have it all. I want to watch this movie again just to pay attention to the small details in the sets I missed the first time around.florance2.
 
While I would not classify this as a romance film, it is a sophisticated comedy; love is a very strong theme. Mr. Bayfield emotionally loves Florence Foster Jenkins, others love their friend, and some love her loose and generous purse strings. There is something about her naive personality and drive to make her dreams come true that will make you love her, too.florance5
 
I loved this movie. I give Florence Foster Jenkins an A. It was awful in the most ironic and best possible way. I was laughing from the beginning to the end. From the facial expressions to the artwork on the walls in the background, everything is well thought out and perfectly placed. There were a few slow spots in the story, but that gave me time to look around at everything else. I don’t know if I would call this a feel-good movie, but I definitely left the theater feeling better from a good laughing session!
Mary Elizabeth 

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