FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
Dir: Stephen Frears (PG, 110 mins)
Florence Foster Jenkins was a tuneless New York heiress, a socialite who nevertheless became a household name because of her singing. Stephen Frears’ frothy delight delves into the colourful life of a laughing stock who nevertheless entertained many, finally performing for the public in Carnegie Hall in 1944. Meryl Streep plays the charmingly misguided Jenkins, supported by her husband St Clair Bayfield, the raffish Hugh Grant, and grudgingly aided by Simon Helberg’s pianist Cosme McMoon. This is feel good stuff, about seizing your dreams no matter what despite the fact that you may be awful. The period detail is exquisitely conjured, Streep is strong as ever and Helberg and Grant are effervescent support. Frears keeps events bubbling along nicely as the Carnegie Hall concert nears, and the darker side of self-delusion barely rears its head in favour of a more life affirming concoction of flat high notes.