2016 ( UK ) ( Biography, Comedy, Drama )
STARRING: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg
DIRECTOR: Stephen Frears
Meryl Streep takes centre stage in this very likeable, frequently hilarious, yet still poignant tragi-comedy from director Stephen Frears. Streep plays Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York socialite and eager patron of the arts whose enthusiasm for a good tune is matched only by her inability to sing one. Not that it stops her from trying. Inspired by the “profound communion” of a performance by soprano Lily Pons, Madame Florence resumes her own singing lessons, her private recitals leading to 78rpm recordings and even an October 1944 concert at Carnegie Hall, which has since passed into legend.
Hugh Grant is delightful here and Helberg just about steals it as her accomplished pianist in a winningly camp turn. Meryl Streep’s performance is superb and she makes Florence so fabulously high-spirited you can’t help but like her.