Friday, September 2, 2016

Florence Foster Jenkins reminds us AGAIN why we adore Meryl Streep

Movie Title:   Florence Foster Jenkins

Grade:  B

Rating: PG-13, 110 minutes

In a Nutshell:  This period dramedy spotlights a brilliant and ever talented Meryl Streep, although this film won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.  

I can really relate to Florence, however.  My singing voice is terrible, but I love music.  How wonderful it would be to have something beautiful come out of my mouth when I sing.

Florence Foster Jenkins was an heiress and socialite who desperately wanted to be an opera star, despite her lack of talent.  Those around her sheltered her from the ugly truth, something which is both sweet and irresponsible at the same time.  The dilemma: crush someone’s dreams with a dose of reality or enable their blind delusion by supporting their dream?

Uplifting theme: 
  • “Music matters.” – Florence Foster Jenkins
  • “Music has been, and is, my life.” – Florence
  • Money can buy an awful lot.
  • Supportive kindness, friendship, and loyalty.
  • Oh, to dream.
  • There's more to stardom than talent.  Of course, reality TV has already taught us that.

Things I liked:
  • It was fun to watch Florence’s passionate reactions when she listened to music.
  • Fans of the Big Bang Theory will get a kick out of Simon Helberg playing pianist Cosme McMoon.  His facial expressions are picture perfect.  His performance exceeds expectations and is sure to secure more spots on the Big Screen.
  • Hugh Grant gives a mature and tender performance as Florence’s devoted, yet unfaithful husband, St. Clair Bayfield. I love how he dotes on her, calls her "Bunny", and makes her feel like she is truly loved and treasured.
  • Bathtub full of potato salad.  Ha ha
  • It’s actually hard to sing badly.  Meryl Streep seems to relish in those moments.  I loved Meryl’s singing at the very end.
  • You get to hear the voice of the real Florence during the closing credits, as well as see some pictures of what she looked like.

Things I didn’t like:
  • You will hear some truly terrible singing.  It can start to really grate on you and tear you down with weary.
  • It’s slow-moving. 
  • Such ridiculous excess and self-indulgence.

Interesting lines:
  • “The lady is a lesson in fidelity and courage and that’s why we love her.” – Chrisitan McKay (Earl Wilson)
  • “Yours is the truest voice I have ever heard.” – St. Clair
  • “People may say I couldn’t sing, but no one will say I didn’t sing.” - Florence

Funny lines:
  • “The Verdi lunch always begins with a soup.  You know that!  How could we begin the lunch without a soup?  There would be a riot!” - Florence

Tips for parents:   

  • Most kids will be insanely bored.
  • Some profanity.
  • Discussion of infidelity.
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