Film Review: Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins

Stephen Frears’ Florence Foster Jenkins offers few surprises for those that have seen the trailer. The film is an entertaining comedy drama with great performances.

Heiress Florence Foster Jenkins is a long-time patron of the arts. She dreams of being an opera singer, not quite realising the limitations of her voice. Her husband St. Clair does his best to keep Florence in the dark, but she yearns to perform…

Based on the New York socialite with an inflated sense of talent, Florence Foster Jenkins could have been a mean or unforgiving portrayal. In director Stephen Frears capable hands, however, the subject is handled amiably. The film focuses on the title character’s later years, leading up to her performance at Carnegie Hall. Frears concentrates on the protagonist and those she was close to, rather than the performance itself.

Stephen Frears needed to tread a narrow line in creating the comedy derived from Florence’s vocal abilities, and not making the character into a clown. The director executes this well; the film is a warm portrait of an interesting and generous person. Similarly, her relationships are portrayed with depth and feeling. The film does not fall back on the trope of the gold-digging younger spouse.

Florence Foster Jenkins reflects the different aspects of its title character. Florence is not a pantomime dame. More serious elements of the protagonist are depicted with the requisite emotion. Frears colours his character with strength and weakness. The lead performance from Meryl Streep is as convincing as ever. Hugh Grant plays the toff as ever, although St Clair is more three dimensional than this. Simon Helberg is wonderfully expressive as Cosme. Costumes in the film are beguiling, and the music is great.

Florence Foster Jenkins is predictable, but good writing, directing and performances mean that this is not a deterrent. Unlike Florence herself, the film hits all the right notes.

Previews: Captain America: Civil War Posters, and more!

Plenty of blockbusters in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including Captain America: Civil War posters, X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day: Resurgence and more…

Captain America: Civil War Posters

Captain America: Civil War poster

Are you #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan? These new Captain America: Civil War posters highlight the division in the Avengers. Captain America: Civil War is as much a follow-up to Avengers: Age of Ultron as it is to 2014’s superlative Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and a host of other Marvel stars, Captain America: Civil War hits UK screens on 29th April 2016.

Captain America: Civil War Iron Man

Welcome To Me Trailer

Welcome To Me is about a lottery winner who decides to spend her winnings on creating her own talkshow. Kristen Wiig stars at the winner inspired by Oprah Winfrey, and the film also stars James Marsden, Wes Bentley and Joan Cusack. Welcome To Me will be released in cinemas and on Sky Store on 25th March 2016.

 

X-Men: Apocalypse Poster

X-Men: Apocalypse Poster

Michael Fassbender’s Magneto leads the four horsemen of the apocalypse in this new poster for X-Men: Apocalypse. The film sees the return of familiar characters from previous instalment as well as new additions played by Oscar Isaac, Sophie Turner and others. X-Men: Apocalypse blasts onto UK screens on 18th May 2016.

Florence Foster Jenkins Trailer

Florence Foster Jenkins star Meryl Streep as the New York heiress. She has a desire to sing, but her voice does not live up to her concert-hall aspirations. Also starring Hugh Grant, the film is directed by Stephen Frears. Florence Foster Jenkins is released in cinemas on 6th May 2016.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children First Look

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

Well this looks mildly terrifying. Here is one of the first images released from Tim Burton’s upcoming Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Based on the bestselling novel, the film stars Eva Green, Allison Janney, and Samuel L. Jackson. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will be released in UK cinemas in Autumn 2016.

Demolition Trailer

Demolition is about a successful investment banker who struggles to cope after the tragic death of his wife. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper. Directed by Dallas Buyers Club helmer Jean-Marc Valleé, Demolition hits UK cinemas on 29th April 2016.

Independence Day: Resurgence Poster

IDR Poster

Here is a new poster for the delayed sequel Independence Day: Resurgence. The film is set twenty years after the original, and sees the return of director Roland Emmerich and cast members Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, and Vivica A. Fox. Independence Day: Resurgence launches on UK screens on 23rd June 2016.