Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review……………………………………………………………

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins is a 2016 biographical dramedy film directed by Stephen Frears and starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. It is such an entertaining, pleasant biopic.

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People may say I couldn’t sing,

but no one can ever say I didn’t sing

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Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review……………………………………………………………

It is about an opera singer known for her apparent lack of singing talent. This is the kind of biopic that you can’t believe that it was real and that its protagonist in particular was a real-life person as she is so crazy and ridiculous. And that is exactly the major strength of this film – its ridiculous and silly nature that produces some good laughs. It succeeds as a comedy because some scenes with her singing were just hilarious and it also succeeds as a drama, especially in its poignant third act.

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Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review……………………………………………………………

The titular character is so well developed here and I liked how complex she is. She is clueless about her singing incompetence and acts like a diva, but still has a big heart which is evident in her helping the troops and being aware of them as others in the movie never are. But she is also a very vulnerable woman as her phobias and illness really affect her in a tragic way. St. Clair Bayfield is annoying. Yes, he evidently cares for Florence, but he still cheated on her and I just found that appalling and I found the movie’s treatment of that affair very unfortunate. They just swept it off the rug and the movie has Kathleen eventually leave him and that somehow solves this problem? That was so odd and ridiculous.

Cosme is a very annoying character and particularly Simon Helberg is incredibly off-putting and I just was really annoyed by him. The problem here is evidently that everyone besides Florence is either problematic or annoying. Hugh Grant gave a pretty solid performance and Meryl Streep is very good and sometimes great in the main role, but I did find her overly theatrical at times.

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Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review……………………………………………………………

Florence Foster Jenkins is a very entertaining biopic. In fact, I was involved in it from beginning to end which is rare for me when it comes to this genre. But because the subject matter is so out of this world and still real, I was fascinated and amused by it. The direction from Stephen Frears is reliably good and the pacing is pretty good as well. The ending was too reminiscent of ‘The Great Ziegfeld’s finale, but it was moving nevertheless. The main character and her story is the reason to see this movie as it is so strong and poignant. The dialogue and score are also pretty good and the film looks good and the tone is pretty well balanced.

Florence Foster Jenkins has sometimes overly theatrical acting and the supporting characters are problematic, but the main character is so intriguing that it was fascinating watching her story. This is the kind of biopic that deals with such a crazy personality that you can’t believe that she was a real-life person and that silliness is the reason why the movie is so entertaining. It is pretty funny at times, but also quite moving and it is such an amusing and well crafted film.

My Rating – 4

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Posted in 2010s, 2016, Biopic, Comedy, Drama, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , .

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