FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS Reviewed
Director: Stephen Frears
Writer: Nicholas Martin
Stars: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg
Three-time Oscar winner, Meryl Streep stars in FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS, the story of a woman who couldn’t sing but didn’t know it. The film is truly a three-hander because Streep is given immense help by Hugh Grant (her husband) and Simon Helberg (her pianist). On paper, this film would seem to be about the narcissism of a rich woman. Or the ways in which her husband feeds this vanity for personal gains, or the way a no-name pianist earns a tidy salary going along with the stunt.
But, in fact, it’s a movie about kindness. And as the stakes rise (Florence books Carnegie Hall for a recital) the people that care about her must engage in more elaborate ruses to keep her in the dark. Jenkins (Streep) is a touching figure and you will come away caring about her too. It may all be a touch sentimental and the singing is difficult to endure, but the acting, directing, cinematography, sets and stage sets are a joy to behold. And Streep is La Streep.