Tuesday, 3 May 2016

'Florence Foster Jenkins' Review

All Florence Foster Jenkins wanted to do in her life was to sing. It was her pride and joy, the bright spark of her life. She loved the art and would do anything just to be able to perform for an audience. All of this was true, despite the fact that Jenkins had no singing talent whatsoever.

The wonderful Meryl Streep takes the role of Jenkins in what is a delightful and very fun performance for the multiple time Oscar winner. Streep brought a lot of heart in this performance to a character that most definitely had heart. Despite being quite severely ill and not having the best vocal chords, Jenkins spirit is always high and Streep does incredibly well at showing this. Streep's likeability also transcends into this performance as we want to see Jenkins triumph as she is just a truly lovely woman. 
The magnificent Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins

Accompanying her on her journey is her cheating husband St Clair Bayfield played by Hugh Grant. His relationship with who he openly calls his girlfriend (Rebecca Ferguson) plays quite a big part in the film with Bayfield sneaking off every night once his ill wife has fallen asleep. For me, this just instantly made him quite unlikeable as its quite a despicable act despite his support over her singing career. The relationship with his mistress also falls flat in the story and nothing really comes from it. It was a strange route they decided to go with the character which in all honesty, just seemed like a side story to make the film longer with no intention of a climax.
Jenkins and her "husband" St Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant)

The film is filled with great moments that will leave the audience laughing. The singing performances from Streep with her pianist Cosme McMoon (Simon Helberg) are great to watch as her talents- or lack of- become apparent to her new pianist. Helberg shows great comedic talent with his reactions alone in what creates some great moments within the film. However the film does use this one aspect a lot throughout the film. It stays funny throughout but it is most definitely repetitive and could easily see that some audience members would grow tiresome over the continuous use of the one gag. The film does have more to offer comically which do work a lot of the time leading to a good experience in the cinema. 
Simon Helberg as Cosme McMoon

Based on a true story, I find it very bizarre that these events actually happened and that Jenkins got this far. You would've thought that somebody would've realised that Jenkins just wasn't good enough. There's pretty much no chance that this would happen today as we see in the likes of Britain's Got Talent where acts are booed off for not being good enough. Maybe at that time, the people were much less cynical and more appreciative of the effort on show.

That being said the story is pretty inspirational. The fact that this women who had some severe health issues and wasn't blessed with the talents required for what she wanted to do couldn't get in her way. Her love of music powered her on and she didn't let anything stand in her way. Quite an inspirational story and shows a clear message of if you want to do something, don't let anyone or anything stand in your way of doing so!

Final Verdict = 

Quite an inspiring and delightful story, Streep doesn't fail to impress yet again. Funny throughout the film carrying a good message to those considering to do something that they are passionate about.

So have you seen 'Florence Foster Jenkins'? If so what did you think of it? I hope this review was useful and maybe convinced you to check this film out. Once again, thank you for reading, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor