“Florence Foster Jenkins” is an inspirational story of a woman who dealt with hardship — her dreams stolen by disease. But she never let that keep her from things that she loved.
As an Heiress, Florence Foster Jenkins’ father leaves her his fortune and she invests it into the music scene of New York, financing shows and operas.
Florence was diagnosed with Syphilis at the age of 20 and was given a short amount of time to live, but miraculously she survived another 50 years. She pours her heart and soul into her passion for music, but her dream of being a concert pianist was taken from her when the nerves on her left side are damaged from the illness.
Florence remains undeterred and finds a new dream in becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice. Her husband, St. Clair Bayfield, is a failed actor who puts everything he has into supporting Florence and works tirelessly to make sure that she has a great show.
Meryl Streep loses herself in the role of Florence Foster Jenkins. Her performance is fantastic as an eccentric older woman. Her “eccentric grandmother” role is played out well and adds to the film immensely. Her performance really builds the character and brings emotions to the forefront of each scene. There aren’t any weak scenes in the film, each of them builds the characters or progresses the story.
Hugh Grant plays St. Clair Bayfield, who is Florence’s husband and Simon Helberg of the “The Big Bang Theory,” plays Cosmé McMoon, who becomes Florence’s concert pianist and friend.
Hugh Grant’s performance is flawless as well, and perfectly encapsulates the role that is St. Clair. He does a great job portraying an older gentleman trained in classical theater that can also keep up with the newest trends. His character walks the line between the two worlds throughout the movie.
His character is further developed by his division between Madame Florence, his wife, and Kathleen, his much younger girlfriend. While he loves both of them, he is devoted to Florence and won’t allow anyone to make fun of his wife’s dream and ultimately becomes her biggest fan.
All in all, Florence Foster Jenkins is an engaging and interesting movie about music, hardship and dreams. It’s about trying your best even if you are not the best and keeping people around you that will support you through anything. The film is both light-hearted and tragic making it a must-see this year.