1944 New York City. Florence Foster Jenkins ( the always talented Meryl Streep) is a wealthy socialite who once played the piano at the White House as a child. Now she’d like to get back into “her music”. Her husband St.Clair Bayfield ( the ever charming Hugh Grant) arranges everything – a famous voice teacher, a new pianist Cosme McMoon (funny Simon Helberg), payoffs to the newspapers, small friends-only dinner party/concerts. Money buys discretion because Florence can’t sing. Truly awful – flat, pitchy, and laughable.
But….but this is a true story and it’s about how Florence Foster Jenkins sang at Carnegie Hall. This is a small movie with a big heart. Florence did a great deal for music in NYC during WWII. She supported the troops and the arts. She was ill (you’ll find out more as the movie progresses) and yet she rallied when performing. She loved and embraced music and the movie deals with how folks came to embrace her. Florence Foster Jenkins is a movie with low key charm that shines through. Its humor is pleasant. You’ll laugh out loud when Florence first opens her mouth, but you’ll come to root for her by the end. Great acting, rich sets, and a nifty old fashioned tale.
Sing loud, sing proud!