Florence Foster Jenkins

Stephen Frears is a loving filmmaker who urges audiences to embrace his characters but not too roughly lest we harm these spirited but fragile people. In Florence Foster Jenkins, Frears directs the indomitable Meryl Streep and the reliably affable Hugh Grant in the true story of an aging New York socialite and music patron and her husband during the Second World War. Madame Florence, doused with stardust after hearing the heavenly Lily Pons at Carnegie Hall, decides she wants to revive her own performance aspirations. The problem is she’s deaf to her own tunelessness but gets only affirmation from doting husband St. Clair and the high society toadies who love her sandwich and potato salad parties and money. She enlists the support of the effete and impoverished young pianist Cosme McMoon (an Oscar nomination for the Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg) and is off to the races. I found quite a lot to love about Florence, was touched by her passion and rooted for her despite her delusion.

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