Success, especially in the performing arts, is often more a matter of hard work and perseverance rather than pure talent.
In the new movie, Florence Foster Jenkins, Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep) is an aging socialite in New York City during World War II. Her dream, like many others, is to sing on the stage. What makes her different from others with the same dream is that while she lacks the ability to sing, she makes up for the lack of talent in hard work, optimism and sheer perseverance.
Florence’s long time companion/de-facto manager St Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant) hires Cosme McMoon (Simon Helberg) to accompany Florence on the piano. Cosme is horrified about Florence’s lack of talent and is unsure if he wants to continue in the job. When a recording is made of Florence and she happily signs up to sing at Carnegie Hall, both Cosme and St Clair are horrified. Despite his initial concerns, Cosme has learned to see that he shares a love of music with Florence. St Clair, who has shielded Florence from the negative reviews for many years, is afraid of the public ridicule she may face. But Florence presses on, despite the challenges and the concerns of Cosme and St Clair.
Based on the true story of the real Florence Foster Jenkins, this movie is a lesson in courage and optimism. As she always does, Meryl Streep gives her all to the character and the narrative. Despite having the dubious distinction of being “the world’s worst opera singer”, there is a heart and a belief that she can succeed, despite the obstacles.
And that is where this movie succeeds.
I recommend it.
Florence Foster Jenkins is presently in theaters.