Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Nina Arianda, Rebecca Ferguson
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Story: Biographical comedy-drama directed by Stephen Frears which tells the true story of New York heiress and socialite Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep), who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer.
The voice she heard in her head was divine, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. At private recitals, her devoted husband and manager, an aristocratic English actor, St Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), managed to protect Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give her first public concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall, St Clair realized he had perhaps bitten off more than he could chew.
Verdict: Even though I’m not the greatest fans of biopics it’s hard to dislike this movie and it’s one of those movies where yet again Meryl Streep shows us why she’s such a great actress. She really brought this character to life and we get the emotion depth that this kind of character need as well as some wonderfully hilarious moments. We also get Hugh Grant giving one of his best performances, so what we end up with is a bright, smart endearing comedy drama which will brighten up your day after you watch it.
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 30)
Florence Foster Jenkins: When I was sixteen years-old my father told me that if I didn’t give up music he’d cut me off, of course he didn’t understand, music is my life.
Florence Foster Jenkins: Can you imagine what that must feel like, to hold three thousand people in the cup of your hand?
St Clair Bayfield: Hm.
Florence Foster Jenkins: I would like to take some more lessons.
St Clair Bayfield: What about a pianist?
Florence Foster Jenkins: Yes, I shall need someone. Someone with passion.
[to her pianist]
Florence Foster Jenkins: Now I must warn you, I work very hard. I study an hour everyday, sometimes two.
St Clair Bayfield: Cosme McMoon.
Florence Foster Jenkins: Maestro, this is the talented man I was telling you about.
Carlo Edwards: Then let’s get started.
[Florence starts singing which sounds horrendous]
[Florence is practicing singing and she sounds pretty awful]
Carlo Edwards: [to McMoon] Stop that.
Carlo Edwards: [to Florence] There’s work to be done.
[Florence looks disappointed]
Carlo Edwards: But you’ve never sounded better.
St Clair Bayfield: Here, here.
[he starts clapping]
Florence Foster Jenkins: Maestro, it is true that a lot of singers my age are on the decline, but I seem to just get better and better.
Carlo Edwards: I know, it’s hard to believe, isn’t it?
Florence Foster Jenkins: Well, I am so blessed.
Carlo Edwards: There is no one quite like you.
St Clair Bayfield: Mr. McMoon.
Cosme McMoon: Could we speak, Mr. Bayfield?
St Clair Bayfield: Yes, of course. What is it?
Cosme McMoon: Well, I thought I was being hired to accompany Madam Florence’s lesson.
St Clair Bayfield: Hm.
Cosme McMoon: To be honest with you, Mr. Bayfield, I feel Madam Florence might need a little more preparation before she sings in public.
St Clair Bayfield: We’ve been rehearsing for a month.
Cosme McMoon: I know, but from time to time she can be a little…
St Clair Bayfield: Hm?
Cosme McMoon: Flat.
St Clair Bayfield: Flat.
Cosme McMoon: A tad. Just a tad.
St Clair Bayfield: Carlo Edwards didn’t mention any flatness and he is the leading vocal coach in the city.
Cosme McMoon: He’s supposed to be, but we can’t be talking about the same singer. I mean her vocal cords they don’t phonate freely, her phrasing is haphazard, as for her sub-block and pressure, it defies medical science.
St Clair Bayfield: Is her instrument quite what it was, perhaps not, but as Beethoven said, “A few wrong notes may be forgive, but singing without feeling cannot.”
Cosme McMoon: Mr. Bayfield…
St Clair Bayfield: She’s remarkable, isn’t she?
St Clair Bayfield: Well, if you can forgive my little Florence her little eccentricities you will find her to be a most generous person.
Florence Foster Jenkins: Maestro, do you think I’m ready for a concert?
Carlo Edwards: Expand your diaphragm, Florence.
[referring to Florence]
Augustus Corbin: The lady is a lesson in courage and that’s why we love her.
Cosme McMoon: I think Madam Florence might need more lessons.
St Clair Bayfield: Please, my wife is ill. Singing was her dream and I’m going to give it to her.
St Clair Bayfield: Is not ours a happy world, Cosme? Do we not have fun?
Cosme McMoon: Please, Mr. Bayfield.
St Clair Bayfield: You see we have to help her, because without loyalty there’s nothing.
Cosme McMoon: We’ll be murdered out there!
St Clair Bayfield: And you think I’m not aware of that? For twenty-five years I’ve kept the mockers and scoffers at bay. I’m very well aware of what they might do, but Florence has been my life, I love her, and I think you love her too. Hm? Singing at Carnegie Hall is her dream and I’m going to give it to her. The only question now is whether you will stand by your patron and friend in her hour of need, or whether you will focus on your ambition?
[Cosme doesn’t reply]
St Clair Bayfield: Please, Cosme. Will you play for your friend?
St Clair Bayfield: Bravo, bunny.
Florence Foster Jenkins: And all the reviews are just terrific.
St Clair Bayfield: Yeah.
St Clair Bayfield: Ours is a very happy world.
Arturo Toscanini: Can I try another take?
Florence Foster Jenkins: Oh, I don’t see why, that seemed perfect to me.
Florence Foster Jenkins: We could have been a family.
St Clair Bayfield: We are a family. Are we not happy?
[referring to Carnegie Hall]
Florence Foster Jenkins: This is my favorite place in the whole world, and I’m going to sing here.
St Clair Bayfield: Uh-huh.
Florence Foster Jenkins: I’ve booked the hall for October 25th, and I’m going to give a thousand tickets away to the, to the soldiers because we must support our boys.
St Clair Bayfield: Well, I applaud your courage, and no one would enjoy sing more than I obviously, but this place, it’s just so big, you know. It’s nearly a thousand, three thousand people.
Florence Foster Jenkins: Well, Lily Pons’s voice filled and she’s just a little bird.
St Clair Bayfield: Well, yes, but she’s a young woman with a young woman’s strength and perfect technique, and it’s…
Florence Foster Jenkins: My technique isn’t perfect?
St Clair Bayfield: No, it is, it is, it is, but I…I just think this might be too much for you.
Florence Foster Jenkins: If you truly love me you’ll let me
Florence Foster Jenkins: You know I played for the president when I was eight years-old.
Cosme McMoon: Really?
Florence Foster Jenkins: Yes, little Miss Foster they called me. I had very high hopes of becoming a concert pianist, but then when the nerves were damaged in my left hand that was not to be.
Cosme McMoon: I cannot play Carnegie Hall with Madam Florence.
St Clair Bayfield: You know she will not survive the evening without it. Will you play for your friend?
Cosme McMoon: Oh, boy. We’re gonna die out there. We’ll be murdered out there.
Doctor: Her condition is improving. What is her secret?
St Clair Bayfield: Music, she lives for music.
[seeing a bad review by Earl Wilson about Florence’s singing in the papers]
Cosme McMoon: Oh, God.
St Clair Bayfield: She must never see this. I’d like every copy of the post that you have.
Earl Wilson: Music is important. It should not be mocked.
St Clair Bayfield: She has done for the musical life of this city than anyone else and that includes you!
St Clair Bayfield: Those men, they’ve seen horrors. They need joy, they need music.
Florence Foster Jenkins: But I’m afraid.
St Clair Bayfield: Don’t be. Don’t be, they’re going to love you.
[as Florence is just about to walk onto the stage]
St Clair Bayfield: Now then, little Miss Foster, make me proud.
St Clair Bayfield: It’s going very, very, very well.
Florence Foster Jenkins: This is what we live for, isn’t it? This moment.
[at Carnegie Hall stage before the curtains are to be opened]
Florence Foster Jenkins: Too many, too many feathers, you think?
St Clair Bayfield: The perfect number of feathers. Strained and eloquent.
Florence Foster Jenkins: I’m so nervous, Whitey.
St Clair Bayfield: Oh, don’t be.
Florence Foster Jenkins: Are you nervous, Mr. McMoon?
Cosme McMoon: Somewhat.
St Clair Bayfield: You have a full and very warm house and you are both going to be sensational. Ready?
Florence Foster Jenkins: Mm-hmm, yes.
St Clair Bayfield: Break a leg.
[he kisses her quickly]
St Clair Bayfield: House lights please.
[Bayfield walks off stage]
Florence Foster Jenkins: This is what we live for, isn’t it?
[McMoon smiles nervously and wipes the sweat off his brow and upper lip]
Florence Foster Jenkins: This is the moment.
[just then the curtains are opened and the audience claps]
Florence Foster Jenkins: Music is my life.
Florence Foster Jenkins: People may say I couldn’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.
Total Quotes: 30