Film Review: Florence Foster Jenkins

I was very lucky to see an exclusive pre-screening of Florence Foster Jenkins thanks to Australian fashion label Trenery and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

The illustrious Meryl Streep plays New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins, who became an opera singing despite her complete lack of singing ability, rhythm and enunciation. 

This biographical film follows Florence’s oblivious determination to sing opera on the stage, with the help of her loyal husband St Clair, played by Hugh Grant and with the accompaniment of pianist Cosme McMoon, played by Simon Helberg.

Streep’s dry wit is delightful in this role of a woman living in an egotistical bubble and neither myself nor my fellow cinema-goers could stifle their laughter at her ‘operatic’ squealing and mumbling.

Hugh Grant was impressive too, he is less sleazy somehow, wiser almost and his age suits him. His character’s unwavering support of Florence seems at first sycophantic and cruel, but the love and loyalty between them is endearing and suddenly you no longer question his motives.

Simon Helberg is also brilliant, as are the rest of the cast and it certainly made me wish I were born in another era.

The costumes, the musical score and the witty, understated humour made this film a lighthearted relief from all the drama of the real world. 

The fact that it is based on a true story is also charming, with some facts, photos and real recordings shown at the end credits, making it that little bit more special.

Florence Foster Jenkins hits Australian Cinemas on May 5th – a perfect mothers day treat.

Ferg

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