Flash Movie Review: Florence Foster Jenkins

It can be such a dilemma; the choice is whether to be supportive or honest. Now I grant you these two options can be compatible; but I have found myself in situations where I had to stop and think before I reacted to the circumstances present. So here is the question I have for you; how do you tell someone you care about that their dream will never happen? For what I hope is obvious reasons I have changed a few things here; let us say you have a close friend who wants to be a chef. They enjoy having dinner parties so they can try out new dishes on their friends. The food is fine but nothing you would pay for at a restaurant. Politeness dictates you tell your friend the food tastes good. Should you mention you would not necessarily pay for it but for homemade it was okay? Remember this friend’s dream is to be a chef either at an established venue or opening up their own place. Personally it is a tough call for me and I am the blunt one in my circle of friends. I would never quash a person’s dream; dreams are what make human beings grow and learn. On the other hand watching your friend spend money and time on something that probably will not yield them the desired results would be sad. Do you see my predicament? A similar situation was taking place in this biographical comedic drama.   NEW YORK heiress Florence Foster Jenkins, played by Meryl Streep (Ricki and the Flash, Hope Springs), dreamed of becoming an opera singer. She had the means, the desire and the drive to fulfill this dream. The question was did she have the talent? Based on a true story this film’s cast formed a wonderful bond that came across the big screen. With Hugh Grant (About a Boy, Did You Hear About the Morgans?) as St. Clair Bayfield, Simon Helberg (Van Wilder: Party Liaison, The Big Bang Theory-TV) as Cosme McMoon and Rebecca Ferguson (Hercules, A One-Way Trip to Antibes) as Kathleen; the actors did their best with what was given to them. The story was better than the script. I thought the sets and costumes were spot on; but the script produced what I thought was a light version to what the story could have been. The acting was very good but I found the characters somewhat bland, though Simon’s character was curious. Without giving a spoiler alert let me just say I read somewhere that it was Meryl’s idea to not let the actors and extras hear her in some scenes until the first take. I have to say it worked because I thought the scenes looked authentic. So you see there were positives to this film; I just felt it lagged emotionally, not making a true connection with the viewer. Maybe there were people behind this project who dreamed of bringing this true story to the big screen. Who am I to tell them they should not have done it this way? Instead let me say my fascination with this story lingered on after the movie was over. The bottom line is everyone has the right to dream.


2 2/3 stars



About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on August 17, 2016, in Dramedy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. This one looks mildly amusing, but just wondering – when you say “Simon’s character was curious,” do you mean the actor was a curious choice to cast as this character, or the character was strange?

    • The actor was fine, but the character was curious to me because there was little back story. Also some of his scenes were just odd to me. I hope this explains it a little more.

  2. The real Florence Jenkins would perform as she did to sell out crowds and she would often have someone bring her baskets of roses at the end of her performances and throw the petals in to the audiences then because she was so well received that she would have the house staff gather up all the petals for her form the audience so she could throw them back out again! It just goes to show that beauty is often held within the EAR of the beholder rather than the eye because it’s often not what we see and perceive but rather what we hear and it’s someone pouring their heart in to something that they believe is a brilliant composition and performance. We’re burdened with being taught that what we hear is either beautiful or blasphemy to our minds and to society. Where, you find say… heavy metal to be an abomination of sound to someone else it’s a symphony of their soul screaming out for something inside of them. Same as Classical music can be equally as serene as it can be a tidal wave of auditory force. I think she was completely in her right place and mind to do what she did and sang just as beautiful as any Diva would elsewhere where it would command a different sounding aria by someone else. There are a couple of albums in circulation of the real Florence Foster Jenkins singing and I think that people should acquire them to remind themselves that not everything in the world has to be “perfect” to be beautiful

    • Thank you so much for your thoughts and comments. Have you seen this film yet? I would be quite interested in hearing your thoughts on the film and how it compares to the real person you have some knowledge on.

  3. I saw this movie last week – I think over all it was just “okay.” I found it lagging in parts and I was slightly bored. I think they over-emphasized Meryl’s screechy voice. But I sure loved the pianist’s facial expressions.
    I have been waiting for a good movie to see. I just saw one tonight: “The Light Between Oceans.” It was wonderful. I’ll look forward to seeing your review of it soon. 🙂

    • Hi Judy I just reviewed The Light Between Oceans tonight. By chance did you read the book? Thank you for your take on Florence Foster Jenkins, we are in agreement. And just in case let me say my rating system of stars goes between 1 and 4. Thank you once again.

      • When I saw your review, I thought that was such a coincidence since I only just mentioned it. I didn’t read the book, but really enjoyed the movie. I think it deserve a little higher rating than you gave it. Even if there were some slower parts – wow, the scenery and music were gorgeous. The end of the movie had me crying! (I guess I’m just an emotional person).

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