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With Jim Sabatini


Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins
Starring:
Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg


Rated: PG-13 for brief suggestive material.
Reviewed by: Chris  
Release date: August 12, 2016 Released by: Paramount Pictures Corporation

What's not to love about this wonderful film.  Based on real people and true events, its a very entertaining comedy/drama directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen)
 
I never knew anything about Florence Foster Jenkins before this movie came out, but she's delightful to get to know.  She's warm, kind-hearted, loving and quite eccentric.  Played by Meryl Streep - to perfection, I might add, Florence is the grand dame of the New York social scene during the 1940's.
 
She formed the Verdi Club, where she and her second husband, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant) a one-time actor, entertain friends and opera devotees to late suppers of sandwiches and potato salad followed by a signing performance by Florence.  In her mind, she sings like an angel, but her voice actually is akin to nails scraped across a blackboard.
 
Her adoring husband contributes to the falsehood by giving her compliments and paying off newspaper critics for good reviews or giving away free tickets to people looking for a night out.  He loves his wife so much, he can't bear to let her know the truth about her voice.
 
One of the highlights happens early in the film when St.Clair is auditioning pianists to accompany his wife.  When Cosme McMoon (SImon Helberg - The Big Bang Theory) is given the job and finally gets to hear Florence sing, the expressions on his face are priceless.
 
A stellar cast adds to the enjoyment of it all.  Streep, a good singer herself, has a good ole time screeching for all she's worth, and it's been a long time since I've seen Hugh Grant on-screen.  His wonderful performance made me want to see him again very soon.  Helberg has an innocence that seems just right for the era.
 
With a summer filled with low-brow comedies, action and super hero films, its refreshing to spend a couple of hours in a theater and come out feeling like you just got a big hug.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Matt Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Florence Foster Jenkins  B+   B+   B   B+               B   B+ 

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