The summer blockbuster season has come to a close and what better way to usher in the dramatic, character driven films of “Oscar” season than a Meryl Streep movie? “Florence Foster Jenkins” is based on the true story of a New York Heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer despite her wretched voice. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on this film in this box office review…
It’s refreshing to see Hugh Grant back in the role I enjoy him performing. The classic gentleman is a personality that I have always enjoyed from his performances, when called for. He always shines when his character is a bit reserved but driven, caring and thoughtful. While he does entertain moments of base desire his character overall is remarkable once realized. The lengths we see him go to for his love is enough to make you feel a sense of warmth and by the end of the film you might be touched emotionally by his characters story. I was surprised by the relationship he and Florence had not knowing anything about the true story this is based on and I couldn’t appreciate him more by the end.
There’s plenty to be said for Meryl Streep’s performance as Florence because we are treated to a woman who is suffering, should be dead but survives her life because of passion. She lives on because of her hearts drive for music and the arts. That is what keeps her going and it’s the journey Streep takes us on as this suffering character who is purely a passionate being that is incredible. The interactions between characters is telling if you pay attention to her reactions. She is passion and the moment she senses any false emotion her expression and demeanor changes signaling to us the audience she is aware and feeling stifled, if not lied too. It’s her passion which inspires characters throughout the film, not her talents, to find something within themselves they might not have discovered otherwise.
The overall story is a period piece set in New York City and the story does well to capture the time. I wasn’t distracted by minutia which can become overwhelming if done poorly in period piece films. I don’t want to be distracted by music that isn’t from that time or slang that represents modern day unless the piece is set in modern day. This film captured the 1940’s, including artists, slang and clothing style. I was completely taking in by this film.
“Florence Foster Jenkins” is in theaters now! If you enjoy character driven stories, or movies based on true events this will definitely wet your appetite for “Oscar” season. I did, at one point, wonder if people were cutting onions in the theater because I found myself getting a bit misty eyed towards the end. So, if you decide to enjoy this movie on the big screen you might ask the folks at the theater for the non-onion theater show times. It’s a touching film with a great cast and the story is about one woman’s passion for music and the arts and how that passion can inspire others, even strangers.