Meryl Streep debuts on the big screen once again, portraying real-life figure Florence Foster, a mid-twentieth century New York socialite and amateur soprano.
Foster has an astounding love for music and the theater, and dreams of sharing her singing with the world, though on more than one occasion, her voice falls flat. She is a lively character who walks with her head in the clouds, but is balanced by her well-grounded husband.
St. Clair Bayfield, Hugh Grant, is the doting husband, keeping his wife from running off with her delusions of grandeur. Bayfield doles out large sums of cash to keep out mockers and to have only supporters at Foster’s performances. They appear the vision of a happy couple, married for years, though each night Bayfield tucks Foster into bed before going to his separate apartment and mistress.
Though Meryl Streep is the star, it is Simon Helberg as Cosme McMoon, the awkward yet lovable pianist, that viewers will remember as they leave the theater. McMoon was paid to accompany Foster, who he believed was an actual singer. His reaction when he heard her singing, more like squawking, had audiences howling in their seats. As Foster begins to sing publicly, McMoon questions continuing to be her accompanist and how she will affect his reputation.
Director Stephen Frears didn’t delve in the deeper issues that Foster suffered and their full effect and revolved the film around a single point in Foster’s life. ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ was kept light and full of laughter to the bitter end.
‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ is rated PG-13 for mild bad language and mild suggestive references. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes