THE INSPIRING TRUE STORY OF THE WORLD’S WORST SINGER.
In 1944, pianist Cosmé McMoon (Simon Helberg) is hired to accompany New York City socialite and amateur soprano Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep) and learns to his great amusement that she can’t get one tone right. The real-life story of Jenkins who loved music, was encouraged by her husband, and had no idea just how awful her singing voice was gets a handsome and likable screen treatment by Stephen Frears, not unlike his earlier Mrs Henderson Presents (2005). Streep is hilarious in the lead, wonderfully supported by Hugh Grant as her husband and Big Bang Theory star Helberg as the incredulous pianist… and the filmmakers genuinely care about the main character, an easy target for ridicule.
2016-Britain. 110 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Michael Kuhn, Tracey Seaward. Directed by Stephen Frears. Screenplay: Nicholas Martin. Costume Design: Consolata Boyle. Cast: Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), Hugh Grant (St. Clair Bayfield), Simon Helberg (Cosmé McMoon), Rebecca Ferguson, Nina Arianda, Stanley Townsend.
Trivia: Jenkins’s life has also inspired several plays and the French film Marguerite (2015).
BAFTA: Best Makeup & Hair.
Last word: “The truth in the performance seemed so essential to it all. Watching Meryl doing it live on camera is what Florence did. That’s what really mattered – capturing that real moment. I would make her do ‘Queen of the Night.’ Opera singers can’t sing it after a certain age, and I made her do it far too many times.” (Frears, Vanity Fair)