Title: Florence Foster Jenkins Director: Stephen Frears Year: 2016 Run time: 1hr 51m
“The true story of a New York heiress and socialite who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard was beautiful but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her husband and manager St Clair Bayfield was determined to protect his beloved from the truth, but when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall he knew he faced an impossible challenge.”
2:53 – It’s amazing how into this they are, entertainment in the 1940s! 6:40 – “Music matters.” 11:09 – Would there really be a riot about a lack of soup though, I wonder. 13:24 – Just had to pause to learn about sleeve garters. 15:42 – “The chairs are not for practical use, you have been told.” 17:09 – McMoon? That is the best name ever. 19:39 - `’Madame Florence is inordinately fond of sandwiches.” Haha, me too. 20:32 – Smug face. 27:44 – Authenticity is not always a compliment. 29:58 – :As for her sub-glottal pressure, it defies medical science.” 34:04 – A bath full of potato salad is gross! 40:23 – Ha, she crawled out on her hands and knees. 42:10 – Was that Mavis? 43:34 – “Just the Mercury, and arsenic of course.” What a combination! 46:20 – Hugh does good lullaby voice. 46:40 – They just ran the same shot twice, terraced house, yellow car, blue car. 54:29 – “There in a demi-semi-quaver.” 1:00:47 – Smart man, keep her talking. 1:06:31 – Love that she got in a total sellotape tangle. 1:15:25 – Oof, the 1940s were horrible for bright camera flashes. 1:28:39 – I was mostly ogling the grand piano. Beautiful. 1:43:26 – “People may say I couldn’t sing but no one can say I didn’t sing.”
Highs and lows in my feelings for this one. The singing scenes were really, really atrocious, so hard to get through. I get that’s the whole point of the story, and it was slightly better when she was attempting an actual song, but that first sequence where she was getting lessons was dire. Almost “turn it off I can’t bear it” dire.
It also appeared to be a low budget film in the worst kind of way - visuals that were clearly fake, and scenes used over and again to try and keep costs down. Plus Mavis showed up, which was just bizarre.
However, having said all of that, it was a moving story, an educational piece, and quite emotional by the end. Overall I enjoyed it but it wasn’t an easy film to get through.