Opening 24 Nov 2016
You know the way opera sounds to the uneducated ear of a child, that’s exactly how heiress Florence Foster Jenkins sang. Meryl Streep gleefully swallows all of her pride along with her natural vocal ability to recreate the hideous sounds Florence emitted. Not wishing to burst her cacophonic bubble, Florence’s devoted husband St. Clair Bayfield (tenderly portrayed by Hugh Grant) played along and paved her way with her inheritance to quiet the critics. Cosmé McMoon (Simon Helberg from The Big Bang Theory), a needy young pianist, quite literally, played along, too.
This is a true story brilliantly brought to cinematic life by writer Nicholas Martin and director Stephen Frears. Florence finally lived her dream and sang at Carnegie Hall on October 25, 1944. This was an era when Americans needed a strong dose of illusion mixed with optimism as an antidote to the war. The audience laughed till it cried and embraced Florence Foster Jenkins as a figure of undying hope in a time of despair. So will you. (Pat Frickey)