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Florence Foster Jenkins – DVD & Blu-Ray Review

Everybody sings.

For many of us, the urge to popular the airwaves with our growling and wailing as the rush of joy springs throughout our bodies!

Now can everybody sing beautifully, harmoniously, and with grace and poise?

No! As we obsess over the crazed videos from shows such as X-Factor that see the most earnest and deluded folk spring into Sweet Child of Mine as though they were Beyoncé

when really, they sound like a scraping fork on a china plate. Perhaps cruel, there is something so pleasing about seeing someone – clearly passionate about their craft – fail. Ok. So this definitely sounds cruel and I don’t think I’m expressing myself clearly but like Tommy Wiseau, Ed Wood, and Eddie the Eagle, we’re so entranced by gun-ho underdogs that don’t quite succeed when they are meant to.

Since the entertainment biz moved away from live autopsies and jesters, the glitz and glam of the stage has entranced many a folk. And to watch someone croak out a sultry number has been the height of entertainment and hilarity”

Most famously was opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins who has a brand new movie!

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The brand new movie from Stephen Daldry revolves around the titular character Florence Foster Jenkins revolves around a passionate opera singer who, well, cannot sing. As an heiress and with a doting husband, her secret talent (or lack thereof) has been kept as a somewhat private joke between peers. However, one day she is adamant to perform on the real stage, panicking everyone behind her. As she takes to the stage for her first performance in the public, those loved ones brace themselves for the fall out… 

With Meryl Streep in the helm, the beguiling and enchanting story of Miss Jenkins is an impossibly invigorating. The heart-warming spectacle showcases an impossibly pleasing show that, though painful to our own eardrum, illuminates the screen. Ms Streep makes Ms Jenkins a heroine we can all relate too yet not too impeccable that she seems impossible to exist. Irritating, obsessive, and stubborn, these elements allow her spirit and her love to come bellowing out – even if it is slightly tone deaf. Hugh Grant as long-suffering husband St. Clair Bayford is perhaps his best work yet. His eagerness to keep the ill Florence out of harms way is completely enthralling

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Surprisingly, Florence Foster Jenkins has polarised critics. Whilst charmed writers over in the UK warmed to the mantra of “I may not be able to sing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t,” whilst overseas US journalists were infuriated by the whole spectacle. It brings into question many conflicting sentiments: Do you allow your talentless loved one to march on, knowing the mockery that lay before them? Do you tell them the truth and wait for the light to fizzle from their eyes? It’s an cycle of care and harm, wanting to break the fall but not kill the dream. (Note: The answer is to let them play to their strengths within other areas of the industry they want to get into. Want to sing but can’t yet you are good at networking? A&R sounds right for you.)

There’s also the nagging sense that because Florence is abundantly affluent that she has the right to take over the scene though possessing no great talent. As her peers placate her with kind words, their pockets are being lined with gold and cash. If you’ve ever slept on a friends couch, pushed 70 hours a week, and lived on super-noodles finding you haven’t made it, then the fury at a rich socialite pouncing around the screen despite not being able to hold a note may mar the sweet sentimentality of the film.

Regardless, there is an element of heart and soul that enriches you as you leave the screening. Though the film, and indeed the songstress, may not have appealed to most, she did storm greatly ahead because music was her drive, her everything, her love…

And that is something to admire!


FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS IS OUT ON DVD & BLU-RAY NOW 

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