Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
– “Was everyone laughing at me the whole time?” (Florence)
– “I was never laughing at you.” (St. Clair)
Directed by Stephen Frears (“The Queen” (2006) & “Dangerous Liaisons” (1988)), “Florence Foster Jenkins” is a comedy based on a true story of Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep), a New York socialite whose desire to be a well-known opera singer greatly surpassed her natural abilities. Unaware that she has a very poor singing voice and hearing, Madame Florence Foster Jenkins embarks on the career of a professional opera singer, hiring a talented young pianist Cosmé McMoon (Simon Helberg), and relying for encouragement on her devoted “common-law” husband St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant). Knowing how much music matters to his partner, St. Clair manages to keep the appearances of Florence having vocal potentials often enough, or maybe until the time Florence gives a thousand tickets to soldiers to come and hear her live at the Carnegie Hall, a large prestigious music venue in the centre of New York. “Florence Foster Jenkins” is the kind of a movie one is happy to have watched: it is funny in its individual scenes, and melancholic and moving in its overall presentation; Meryl Streep’s Florence is breath-taking, and Hugh Grant gives the performance of his career.