Florence Foster Jenkins - 4 Stars
One of the most delightful movies to hit our screens in a long time.
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS is a comedy drama directed by Stephen Frears that tells the inspirational true story of the eponymous New York heiress who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice Florence heard in her head was divine, but to the rest of the world it was hilariously awful. At private recitals, her devoted husband and manager, St Clair Bayfield, managed to protect Florence from the truth.
This movie is executed superbly. The script is perfect, the casting astonishing (Meryl Streep was born to play this role) and Stephen Frears directing, as always was on point. Some of the editing did seem a little stiff and disjointed - scene transitions could be distracting, but really these were the film’s only flaws.
The whole cast was brilliant, Meryl Streep is one of the most versatile actresses in the world. Her performance of the comedic, dramatic and romantic elements of the film were wonderful. She is one of the few actresses who can play a role and you only see her character, not the star. Hugh Grant is one of the greatest rom-com actors in the world, so it surprised me to see him take on a more serious role. Even more surprisingly he was really, really good. It’ll be interesting to see if Grant moves into more dramatic roles down the line. Scene stealer Simon Helberg was also phenomenal, his distinctive facial expressions and awkward movements provide a great deal of comedy and you can’t help but love his portrayal of the character.
Overall this is a truly wonderful film, not only is it funny, but it is also poignant and beautifully captures the true spirt of love.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of eOne Entertainment