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  • Writer's pictureGuy Jeffries

Florence Foster Jenkins Review

Director: Stephen Frears

I honestly didn't think anyone could make a film about someone who couldn't sing, and operatics at that. But Stephen Frears is a man who actually can and that he did. He always manages to bring the seemingly 'boring' characters to life, granting them the greatest attention they deserve. Meryl Streep plays the title role of the flamboyant attempting soprano who, couldn't sing in tune, in time and mispronounced lyrics however, what she lacked in singing talent was made up with her ambitious and courageous attitude even if a little disillusioned. Streep does her expected best and it must be harder to sing out of key than to sing properly. It's painfully funny in parts, especially watching Big Bang's Wolowitz Simon Helberg's reactions to Florence's missed notes. He plays a different socially awkward but talented com-pianist Cosme McMoon and he does it so well, he quickly loses the Wolowitz persona many of us are use to. He's taken under Florence's angel wings and under the watchful eye of St. Clair Bayfield. Hugh Grant comes out of retirement and campaigning when Frears offered him the chance to work alongside Meryl Streep. And he does a splendid, charming part; like Helberg, it's a different kind of charming from his previous roles. His character, though suave isn't wholly likeable but you can't help but forgive him as he is totally devoted to protecting Florence from the real world. Like most of Frears films, there's isn't any over-dramatics or cinematography and instead we get good classic film making. He allows the characters to constantly be the centre pieces. However, this does mean it's not necessarily cinema worthy and waiting for the small screen release wouldn't be a bad thing. I bit like Florence's voice, it's does fall flat in places but it's has some nice touching surprises towards the end that concludes the film and certainly makes it more of a drama than a comedy. It's a good film but isn't one I would go out to buy. Not even for Meryl Streep's acting. I get the feeling Meryl Streep is the Eminem of Hollywood, everyone wants to work with her.

Running Time: 7

The Cast: 9

Performance: 9

Direction: 8

Story: 7

Script: 7

Creativity: 6

Soundtrack: 5

Job Description: 6

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

64% 6/10

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